Marie Osmond’s career in the entertainment industry spans over three decades. Her religious upbringing, to some extent, influenced the direction of her career. For example, she turned down the role of Sandy in Grease, because she did not approve of the character’s morals (the role eventually went to Olivia Newton John).
Although she was not part of her family’s pop group The Osmonds, Marie enjoyed success as a solo artist during the 1970s and 1980s, with many of her singles charting on the Country and Top 40 charts. From 1976 to 1979, she co-hosted a variety show with her brother Donny called Donny & Marie, which ran on ABC.
Donny and Marie performing in the ’70s
In the 1990s, she starred in Broadway musicals The King and I and The Sound of Music.
Currently, Osmond performs with her brother Donny in a variety show, also called Donny & Marie, at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. She has written numerous best-selling books, launched a line of dolls, and will be hosting her own talk show beginning this fall.
As we all know, after the heavily publicized 85 million dollar battle over Proposition 8 (which banned gay marriage in California), many gays and lesbians felt targeted by the Mormon Church, since a sizable percentage of the money donated in support of Proposition 8 originated from massive drives initiated by some high profile church members.
Although some Mormons groups such as Mormons for Marriage made the case for legalizing same-sex marriage — and the wife of NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback Steve Young, who is the great-grandson of Brigham Young, famously took a stand against Yes on 8 — gays and lesbians were left with the overwhelming feeling that the Mormon Church was instrumental in stripping away their right to marry in California.
Even as more states begin to embrace marriage equality — including Maine, as of today — same-sex marriage continues to be a hot button topic. The sheer amount of money spent in the fight over Proposition 8 is indicative of the polarizing and emotional nature of the debate, and the flap over Miss California Carrie Prejean’s opposition to same-sex marriage, which continues to make national headlines, further illustrates that the battle for marriage equality is far from over.
Although “preaching to the choir” and rallying the troops on your side of the debate may be invigorating, it does not do much in terms of changing hearts and minds. When a public persona like Osmond, a devout Mormon, comes out in support of equal rights for gays and lesbians, those that are opposed to same-sex marriage or are still on the fence are more likely to take notice and listen.
Osmond acknowledged that “everybody has a right to believe what they believe,” but ultimately, “everybody has a right to have civil rights.” So although she did not explicitly state that she personally felt comfortable with same-sex marriage, she stated that gays and lesbians should enjoy equal rights in the eyes of the law.
This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Listen to an excerpt of Marie’s radio interview here: