Michelle Shocked Releases Statement on Controversial Concert Speech
Update: Following reports that Michelle Shocked made anti-gay remarks in concert, the songwriter has returned our request for comment with the following emailed statement.
Shocked writes that her comments were taken out of context, and that she hasn’t “said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else).” Take a look at the full statement below.
I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that. I believe intolerance comes from fear, and these folks are genuinely scared. When I said "Twitter that Michelle Shocked says “God hates faggots,” I was predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. The show was all music, and the audience tweets said they enjoyed it. The commentary came about ten minutes later, in the encore.
And to those fans who are disappointed by what they’ve heard or think I said, I’m very sorry: I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should. But don’t believe everything you read on facebook or twitter. My view of homosexualtiy has changed not one iota. I judge not. And my statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks – not me – feel about gay marriage.
The show, and the rant, was spontaneous. As for those applauding my so-called stance that “God Hates Faggots,” I say they should be met with mercy, not hate. And I hope that what remains of my audience will meet that intolerance with understanding, even of those who might hate them.
Folks wonder about my sexuality, but denying being gay is like saying I never beat my husband. My sexuality is not at issue. What is being questioned is my support for the LGBT community, and that has never wavered. Music and activism have always been part of my work and my journey, which I hope and intend to continue. I’d like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I’m really not that clever, and I’m definitely not that cynical.
But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them. I say this not because I want to look better. I have no wish to hide my faults, and – clearly – I couldn’t if I tried.
A folk musician’s anti-gay speech has sparked a movement, but not in the way she may have hoped.
At a Sunday night performance at a San Francisco club, singer Michelle Shocked launched an anti-gay tirade onto her unsuspecting audience. Fans walked out en masse, but the fallout from Shocked’s rant didn’t end there.
So far, nine venues have agreed to cancel her shows. Two venues, Telluride Blues Festival and Wisconsin’s Harmony Bar have not responded yet. The Change.org petition has garnered 1,943 supporters so far.
It was during the second set of that Sunday night performance that things had gone awry.
According to Yahoo! Music, it was then that Shocked suddenly began talking about California’s Proposition 8 and told the audience that they “could go on Twitter and say ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates f—s’.”
Fans then walked out of the concert and venue staff turned out the stage lights.
One of the venues that has elected to cancel one of Shocked’s upcoming performances was Evanston, Illinois’ S.P.A.C.E. They explained why in the following post on their Facebook page:
“Many of you have reached out already following an ugly rant given by Michelle Shocked at her show in San Francisco last night. After speaking with the promoter of that show about the nature of the remarks, it’s clear that this is no longer a show we’re willing to put our name on. The May 5th performance at SPACE has been cancelled and refunds will be issued at point of purchase.”
Got news tips for Paste? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.