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Michelle Shocked apologizes, says anti-gay statements were misunderstood

Michelle Shocked.
Michelle Shocked.Getty Images file

For much of Michelle Shocked's career, she was considered (willingly or not) an icon in the gay community. After standing up before a San Francisco crowd and going on what appeared to be an anti-gay rant, you'd think there would be little she could do to recover from the confounding display. Nevertheless, Shocked would like to explain what she said, and she seems to have done so in an open letter printed by the Texas Observer Wednesday.

During Sunday's show Shocked was quoted as saying, "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." She told the crowd later, "You are going to leave here and tell people 'Michelle Shocked said God hates f------s.'"

In her letter -- which the Observer notes was given to them by a close friend of the singer, who does not use a publicist -- Shocked refutes the statements and claims aimed at her, claiming that her dismissal of Proposition 8 (a California ballot proposition and state constitutional amendment that restricted recognition of marriage to opposite sex couples passed in 2008 but overturned in 2010 as unconstitutional; a further ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court is expected in June) was not actually meant to be in her own voice, but in the voices of those who are anti-gay rights.

"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 homosexuality 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," she wrote.

"I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else)," she added.

She claimed her "support for the LGBT community ... has never wavered," and suggested this was no publicity stunt, as "I'm really not that clever."

Shocked also noted that she was sorry, and "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."

Meanwhile, the audio of her statements from the stage on Sunday has surfaced (listen below; warning that some sensitive language is used).

The full letter and follow-up statement  is here. Meanwhile, Shocked was back on Twitter on Thursday, indicating she would be appearing on Nicole Sandler's internet radio show that day. Stay tuned.

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