LONDON, ENGLAND, June 11, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) –  Country songstress Carrie Underwood has told a British newspaper she supports redefining marriage, in part based on her Christian beliefs.

The 2005 American Idol winner, who has strongly identified as a Christian, told the (UK) Independent, “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry…I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”

She also condemned “people who use the Bible for hate.”

Underwood said she left the Baptist church; she and her husband, ice hockey pro Mike Fisher, go to a non-denominational worship center that reflects their more liberal views on the issue.

“Our church is gay friendly,” she said, adding that Christianity is “not about setting rules, or [saying] ‘everyone has to be like me.’” 

Many of Underwood’s fans are evangelical Christians, who helped make her song “Jesus Take the Wheel” a number one country hit. She also played a youth minister in the movie Soul Surfer about the life of Bethany Hamilton. “I grew up going to church camp and reading my Bible and having different faith books and movies in my life,” she has said. 

Some of her fans have already said they will no longer purchase her music as a result of her announcement.

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Underwood’s remarks may have been an answer to a call from a far less successful female singer, Canadian-born Chely Wright, who came out as a lesbian 11 years after her brief Top 40 country career came to a close. Wright complained of being frozen out of the country music social scene after her 2010 announcement.

Two weeks ago, she said, “I need a country artist who is a big deal, like Jay-Z in his community — he came forward and said, ‘I believe in equality for all.’”

Underwood was one of the artists she named.

The 29-year-old roiled her Christian fan base in the past when she won the “Entertainer of the Year” award at the 2009 American Country Music awards. After presenter Matthew McConaughey joked about how he “got lucky” by luring women into his car with a story about having a pair of George Strait’s boots in his Corvette, he announced Underwood as the winner.

The visibly shaken starlet said, “I don’t know what to say. I got nothin’...I want to see those boots, Matthew.”

She said, “Thank You, God” before and after the statement.

She claimed to have “blacked out” and not remembered her comments but then apologized. “You want to say something eloquent in a moment like that and I embarrassed myself,” she said. “I’m sorry Matthew, I’m sorry to my family. I’m totally embarrassed.” 

Underwood is embarking on her first tour of the UK later this month.