Michelle Shocked’s controversial statements about gays were misinterpreted, the folk singer said on Wednesday in statements to KQED and other news outlets.
She is not anti-gay, but was trying to explain other people’s homophobia in comments during a concert on Sunday at Yoshi’s San Francisco, Shocked said.
“I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else),” Shocked said in the statement. “I said that some of His followers believe that.” Shocked posted this video in January
During a concert at Yoshi’s San Francisco, Shocked reportedly said, “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.”
Many fans called out their objections and others left the club. Shocked responded, “You are going to leave here and tell people ‘Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots,’” according to multiple reports.
Here is the statement she sent KQED:
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.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian has posted a recording from an anonymous person who said it was made at the concert. It includes the following remarks in what sounds like Shocked’s voice:
“I was in a prayer meeting yesterday. You gotta appreciate how scared, how scared folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point— and I really shouldn’t say ‘their’ because it’s mine— too, we are nearly at the end of time. And from our vantage point we are going to be— I think maybe Chinese water torture is going to be the means, the method. Once Prop. 8 gets instated, and once preachers are held at gun point and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back.”
Later in the recording, in response to comments from the audience, the voice says, “You said you wanted reality. If someone would be so gracious as to tweet out that Michelle Shocked just said from stage, ‘god hates faggots…’ Would you do that?”