Toby’s stance on the war in Afghanistan got him mislabelled as a Republican, and many assumed — incorrectly, as it turned out — that he also thought the war in Iraq was a good idea. Clearly, Toby is able to take a stand with either party at various times, showing his belief system to be beyond politics.
"My right to carry a gun is not political," he says. "I’m an American, and that is my right as an American, just like it’s my right to vote... Do I care if gay people get married? I could care less. It doesn’t bother me one bit. When you look at Al Gore trying to save the planet, that’s not a political issue."
Instead, he suggests, it’s a social issue that everyone should be examining.
"If the polar ice cap is melting and we’re doing it, I need to educate myself," he says, adding, "I don’t see things right-left. I see them right-wrong."One can argue about whether it matters what a country star or any other celebrity thinks about politics. On the issue of same-sex marriage it matters in this way. Very few male country stars are on record as being supportive of GLBT issues. Culture shapes politics. Country music and men's professional sports are still frontiers when it comes to issues of sexuality and gender. If there are whole cultural arenas in which these issues are not addressed in a positive way, then that reinforces negative views about GLBT people. Keith's comments are a breath of fresh air. He makes them confidently in a way that no one could question the masculinity that helps define a male country star. He's his own man.