When Macklemore released "Same Love" in 2012, it felt crucial. The A.V. Club would later note that the equal rights ballad's "straightforward message of hope and progress hits the mark during a pivotal point of cultural shift... In that way, 'Same Love' is both a call to action and a signal that the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter by the day."
In other words, when "Same Love" was released, America damn well needed it. Campaigners needed the sense of outspoken solidarity, middle Americans still sitting on the fence needed a nudge in the right direction, and the government needed a reminder of which way the tide was turning, culturally.
It had been a year since Lady Gaga dropped jaws with the gloriously defiant LGBT anthem "Born This Way," and somebody needed to step up and quietly express how sad and absurd it was that happy, consenting, adult couples still couldn't get a marriage acknowledged on a federal level. If "Born This Way" was the rallying cry, "Same Love" was the feeling of frustration one experienced after another protest march with no end in sight.
At the 2014 Grammy's, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert kicked things up a notch, when they paired "Same Love" with a mass marriage ceremony -- performed by Queen Latifah! -- for 33 couples, both gay and straight. Madonna popped up at the end with a rendition of "Open Your Heart" and brought everyone to tears. The entire (slightly insane) incident, broadcast to the entire nation, was a giant middle finger to every state in the country that was refusing to move forward on marriage equality.