Since releasing Take Me To Church, Hozier hasn’t held back in his blatant criticism of institutionalised homophobia. As the title of the song suggests, much of this is directed at the Church, and issue that he was asked about on Monday on Larry King Now by host Kelly Osbourne.
Kelly acknowledged the extreme popularity that has met the new Pope and his more progressive views including a greater acceptance of gay people – saying ‘it’s okay to be gay’. But he has yet to condone gay marriage, something Hozier says reflects a reluctance to make any real change.
“He came out last year and said, ‘Who am I to judge?’ with regards to somebody’s sexual orientation,” said Hozier. “But I think it’s important to differentiate between lip service towards something and actually making change.”
He went on to say that the Church has long provided an excuse for homophobia and sexism under the guise of morality, which ultimately inspired his hit song.
“In this case it still harbours an irrational aversion to homosexuality, which in my view – and I think that’s why I was kind of driven to write Take Me to Church… – I think that kind of provides a justification for homophobia, however passive or however latent or under the surface.”
He also said that “while he hopes” that change is occurring in Russia towards the LGBT community, he laments that it is unlikely and difficult to ascertain considering the media is state owned and operated.
“What is frightening about Russia is it is not that far from home,” he said. “Especially if you are in Europe, and cultures like that cross borders. They have in the past. This scapegoating of and othering of one group in society, that has happened before in the past in Europe not that long ago.”
The singer originates from Ireland, the first country to legalise gay marriage – something he says he is immensely proud of.
Hozier says he is consistenly writing songs, but no word yet of any new music on the way.