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Macklemore to defy critics and play gay anthem at Australian rugby final

Macklemore has vowed to perform his gay anthem Same Love at an Australian rugby final despite objections from the country's opponents of same-sex marriage.

Australians are currently voting in a nationwide survey to gauge support for the legalization of same-sex unions, and the rapper has found himself drawn into the debate as he's set to perform the song at the Grand Final of Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) on Sunday (1Oct17).

Macklemore's presence at the final has angered those who oppose marriage equality, including Australia's former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who backed a petition opposing the "politicisation" of the rugby final.

In an interview with U.S. radio station Power 106 on Wednesday (27Sep17), the 34-year-old musician, real name, Benjamin Hammond Haggerty, vowed to defy his critics and play the hit more passionately than ever.

"I'm actually going out to Australia to perform at kind of the Super Bowl of their rugby league," he said. "And it's interesting actually cause I'm gonna play Same Love and they're going through trying to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

"So I'm getting a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia. Today I think there is a petition to ban me from playing. It's interesting times in Australia and I'm heading on a flight over there later tonight. I'm gonna go harder, I'm going to love."

The Seattle, Washington musician wrote Same Love with long-term collaborator Ryan Lewis in the run up to Washington's 2012 same-sex marriage referendum. Voters in the state elected to legalize gay unions, and a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage across America.

The anti-Macklemore petition was started by retired rugby player Tony Wall and calls on NRL bosses to reconsider its decision to allow the rapper to perform Same Love at the game.

Australians have until 7 November (17) to vote in the same-sex marriage survey, and the results will be announced on 15 November.