Shocked Apology: Too Little, Too Late

Three nights after making homophobic remarks at the San Francisco club Yoshi’s, singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked finally offered an apology. Of sorts.

She insisted that she did not say, nor does she believe, that “God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that.”

She added, “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.”

Unfortunately for Shocked, also released today was an audiotape of her performance—so we can cross-check her apology with her original words. And they don’t match. Here’s what she said (with underlines added for emphasis):

I was in a prayer meeting yesterday, and you gotta appreciate how scared, how scared folks on that side of the equation are. From their vantage point—and I really shouldn’t say their, because it’s mine, too, we’re at nearly the end of time. And from our vantage point … I think maybe Chinese water torture will be the means, the method, once Prop 8 gets instated and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back.

Yes, she identified herself very clearly with the beliefs of “some of His followers,” and thus from her vantage point she believes that the “end of time” is linked to Prop 8 (we can assume she means that the court decision throwing out the 2008 California initiative might be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, thus reinstating marriage equality in California) and the forcing of preachers—”at gunpoint”!—to marry “the homosexuals.”

After she made the remarks, the Yoshi’s audience seemed confused at first, though one person is heard to call out, “What?!”

“You said you wanted reality,” said Shocked from the stage with a laugh. “If someone will be so gracious as to tweet out, ‘Michelle Shocked just said from stage, ‘God hates faggots.’ Will you do that now?”

A man in the audience then says, “Maybe some people’s god.” And then he or another man says, “There will be a lot of talking about that.”

Shocked responded, “I ain’t scared, I ain’t scared. This is not a tribunal. This is one woman’s opinion…..  I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room tonight that I could not come here … and pretend I was above the conversation. …. ”

She’ll have another chance to tell her side of the story tomorrow at 11 a.m. EST on Internet radio’s Nicole Sandler Show. Sandler’s first guest of the morning will be disgraced Ohio congressman Bob Ney, who served 17 months in prison for conspiracy and making false statements in regards to Jack Abramoff‘s Indian lobbying scandal. Maybe the singer can get some tips from the ex-Rep. on how to rehabilitate one’s tarnished career.

Photo of Michelle Shocked performing in 2011 by Flickr user StretchyBill, under license from Creative Commons 2.0

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The late Michele Kort—a dedicated feminist—was the senior editor of Ms. magazine for 13 years. She died June 26, 2015, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She worked for decades in field of journalism, covering sports, music, culture, art and feminist issues for publications like LA Weekly, The Advocate, Shape, Redbook, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Songwriter, InStyle, Living Fit, Fit Pregnancy, Vegetarian Times, Fitness, UCLA Magazine, Women's Sports and Fitness and more. She is the author of four books, including a biography of singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro. Rest in power, Michele.