Queen Latifah officiated a mass wedding of gay and straight couples during Sunday night's Grammy Awards
telecast in Los Angeles.
Thirty-three gay and straight couples tied the knot during the ceremony.
The wedding took place during the performance of hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s Grammy-nominated song "Same Love," which became an anthem for same-sex marriage in 2013. Madonna and Mary Lambert also joined the group in song.
Latifah walked onto the stage decorated as a cathedral, and announced, "We are gathered here to celebrate love and harmony in every key and every color."
As a large choir in church robes continued the song, Latifah led the couples through the vows, then announced, "By the power vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you a married couple."
"I didn't get ordained, but I'm a commissioner sworn in," the actress and rapper said, explaining her credentials backstage before the ceremony.
Although 34 couples were expected to be married, Latifah said there were 33 at the Staples Center ceremony.
Lewis said before the event that the weddings "will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing."
Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich said the weddings were not intended to make a broad statement that represents the views of the academy or the CBS television network, which aired the telecast.
The couples were required to sign confidentiality agreements not to tell anyone, including their families, ahead of time that they would be participating in the ceremony, The New York Times reported
But one of the couples was revealed ahead of time: Lewis’s sister Laura married her fiance, Alex.
Saying they did not want to appear to be trivializing marriage, the organizers decided to place the couples in the aisles near the audience rather than onstage.
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