Michelle Shocked apologizes for anti-gay comments

Michelle Shocked performs at the Bluesfest Music Festival at on April 25, 2011, in Byron Bay, Australia. Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

In an open letter, Michelle Shocked has defended herself against the homophobic comments she made at a San Francisco show on Sunday evening, saying that she was misunderstood and was "damn sorry."

"My support for the LGBT community...has never wavered," she said in the letter, which was sent out by her publicist on Wednesday. In it she claimed that she was just trying to speak up for "Christians with opinions I in no way share."

"I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else)," Shocked continued. "I said that some of His followers believe that."

Shocked, 51, had been performing at Yoshi's San Francisco, when during her second set, she made the hateful comment, prompting much of her audience to walk out in disgust. Lisa Bautista, the director of marketing for Yoshi's, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the venue ultimately muted her microphone, dimmed the lights, and announced that the show was over.

Shocked, who is a born-again Christian, said that the point of her tirade was that she was slamming the belief, not the believer, writing, "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...In this controversy, [my position] means speaking for Christians with opinions I in no way share about homosexuality. Will I endorse them? Never. Will I disavow them? Never."

Members of the singer's audience who "applauded my so-called stance that 'God hates fa**ots'" should offer gay people "mercy, not hate," Shocked wrote. "And I hope that what remains of my audience will meet that intolerance with understanding, even of those who might hate them."

Though it looks like she may not have much of an audience in the near future, as Shocked has had the majority of her remaining U.S. shows canceled, and one European show has already been called off with the rest marked as "tentative" on her website.

"To those fans who are disappointed by what they've heard or think I said, I'm very sorry," Shocked wrote. "I don't always express myself as clearly as I should...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 when she 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," I think her message was pretty darn clear.

You can read her entire open letter here and hear her remarks from Sunday's show here.

Tell us: What do you think of Shocked's apology?

  • Lesley Savage

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