Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but why Michelle Shocked would go on an anti-gay rant while performing in San Francisco, of all places, is beyond us.
The controversial born-again Christian singer went off during a concert Sunday night.
According to witnesses, Shocked 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 up. You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates [anti-gay slur].’”
The staff at the venue quickly turned off the stage lights and ended her performance.
“It was a very painful experience to go through,” Matt Penfield, a guest at the show told Yahoo! Music. “To be that close to someone who is clearly having a breakdown of some sort is not an emotionally comfortable place to be. I’m still a little bit shaken up. And I don’t like to see people vilified. I still love her music and I’m not going to delete her from my playlist or go smash CDs. But if she has made a conscious decision that she is going to use the stage to espouse beliefs that are hateful and damage groups of people, she probably should not be charging money for a concert. If she wants to sit on a panel at a conference or go to a religious festival, I think in that context she should say whatever she wants. But I do think that doing it as a bait-and-switch at a concert performance is really unfair and not showing respect to people.”
As news of the tirade spread, more and more people were outraged by her remarks.
LGBT activist John Becker created a petition on Change.org asking for Shocked to be held responsible and urging the venues of her upcoming concerts to cancel the shows.
“Freedom of speech and artistic expression are critically important, but this isn't free speech. This is hate speech. And in a world where LGBT people are bullied from the pulpit, on the playground, and at the polls, anti-gay hate speech can have serious consequences including legitimizing bullying and hate crimes, and increasing victims' risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide,” he wrote on Change.org
So far, nine venues have canceled and more than 1,400 people have signed the petition.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant