Rob Halford says that he is “not a Donald Trump supporter,” explaining that it’s “scary how one person or a few people can have that much control and dictate such an outcome.”
The JUDAS PRIEST singer, who revealed he was gay 20 years ago, spoke to Newsweek about how the U.S. president’s policies have turned political divides into chasms and alienated minority groups like the LGBTQ community.
“I’m not an American citizen, but I live in this country and eventually want to become an American citizen because I love this country so much,” Halford said. “I’m not a Donald Trump supporter for a lot of reasons, but it’s not only happening in America. It’s happening in other parts of the world, as well, and it’s very dangerous. I was born in 1951. We were still recovering from that evil bastard Adolf Hitler and the horrible things he did.
“When I was a kid, trying to make sense of the world, I would think, ‘Well, maybe in about 10 years there will be no more of this.’ And then it’s still there. It’s like what threatens the Force in ‘Star Wars’. It won’t fucking go away. There’s always a Darth Vader somewhere, fucking it up for the rest of us. Most of humanity just wants to live a peaceful life, don’t we?”
Asked what, in his opinion, is especially alarming about this moment we’re in, Halford said: “What’s scary is how one person or a few people can have that much control and dictate such an outcome. It’s your human right to push back against something you disagree with. You do that by voting for that guy instead of that guy, or that lady instead of that lady. If you’re passive, that’s when the trouble starts. Speaking as a gay man, when the horrible AIDS virus hit, one of the first big organizations to speak up was ACT UP. I had a T-shirt with the ACT UP slogan: Silence=Death. You can’t be dismissive of important things. You have to speak out, even if you don’t get the results you would like to have.
“It’s a very shaky time right now,” he continued. “I have so much faith in this country. But it does seem as though the brakes have been slapped on. It’s indeed disturbing, and it’s such a shame, because throughout the Obama administration, tremendous things were achieved on the basis of human equality. That’s the issue here. Treating one bunch of people this way, and treating this bunch that way. You can’t do that. You have to give everybody the same rights.”
Halford acknowledged that many PRIEST fans won’t agree with those views, saying that “there’s a ton of metal heads that are supportive of [the Trump] administration.” But, he added, “That’s great. That’s okay. You’re not bringing that to the show. We’re there to all join together, and that is the beautiful thing about a free, transparent society — which we don’t appear to have right now. Some fans are completely opposite to me politically. But we can still be in the same room and have a good time and hopefully have a good discussion while respecting each other’s opinions.”
Rob said in a 2017 interview that he was “frustrated” and “angry” about the discrimination that the LGBT community still faces despite the broad social acceptance of homosexuality and the legality of same-sex marriage in some parts of the world.
He said: “In some parts of the world, people like me get thrown off buildings, people like me get hung, just because of who we are.
“You’d think that by now we’d have just figured things out and live and let live and love each other and just accept each other for who we are. Life is short.”
JUDAS PRIEST kicked off the “Firepower” world tour on March 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
The band’s latest album, “Firepower”, was released on March 9 via Epic.
The North American leg of the “Firepower” tour will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.