Texas Monthly: You're closely following the Supreme Court's consideration of gay rights and same-sex marriage.
Willie Nelson: I am. And it's ridiculous to me that this is something we're having a conversation about this in this day and age. I thought it was something that was settled a long time ago.
TM: Clearly not.
WN: Clearly not. And obviously, even the Supreme Court doesn't know what to do about it. They say, 'Don't ask me. Ask somebody else.' They don't want to get in the middle of the states on it. And what are they going to do, come in and override states that have said it's okay? It's a mess.
TM: With same-sex marriage legal in some states and not in others, equality means different things different places.
WN: For same-sex couples, taxes are different, benefits are different, survivor benefits are different. It's crazy.
TM: You've been a supporter of LBGT issues over the years. Outspoken even.
WN: I never had a problem with any of it. I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference. People are people where I came from.
TM: But where you came from was small town Texas in the thirties and forties. Was Abbott more forward-thinking than we give it credit for?
WN: We were a lot like New York City. [laughs] With shorter buildings.
TM: But especially for a Texan, and more so, a Texan playing country music, you came around to this idea relatively early on.
WN: It never came up. Gay or straight? Married, not married? It was never a question. And now there's fussin', fightin', and arguin' over it?
TM: For better or worse, you've also grown into a reputation as something of an authority on marriage itself.
WN: I've been there and back a few times. It's not perfect, so why should we expect it to be perfect for everybody?
TM: But to be clear, you think everybody should be able to get married?
WN: Absolutely. I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I'd never marry a guy I didn't like.
TM: A lot of people think this battle echoes the fight for civil rights in the sixties.
WN: It does. It's about human rights. As humanity, we've come through so many problems from the beginning to here. I guess it finally had to come around to this. This is just another situation, another problem. We'll work it out and move on.
TM: And what do you think they'll say when they look back on this?
WN: We'll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this.