She goes by the stage name Michelle Shocked, but at the singer's concert in San Francisco on March 17, it was her fans who were left stunned when she went on an anti-gay tirade and was kicked offstage. Citing Old Testament verses from the Bible, the indie-folk artist and born-again Christian told the audience at Yoshi's that she hoped the courts would uphold Proposition 8, an amendment to the California state constitution that bans gay marriage.
"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 reportedly said. "You can go on Twitter and say, 'Michelle Shocked says God hates f-gs.'"
At that point, much of the audience walked out and a club manager announced that Shocked's show was over. When she attempted to continue her set, staff at Yoshi's quite literally pulled the plug on her and turned off the stage lights.
In the wake of the rant, 10 of the singer's 11 upcoming tour dates have been canceled, Billboard reports. "Many of you have reached out already following an ugly rant given by Michelle Shocked at her show in San Francisco last night," promoters of SPACE in Illinois posted on the venue's Facebook page on March 18. "After speaking with the promoter of that show about the nature of the remarks, it's clear that this is no longer a show we're willing to put our name on."
This is not the "Greener Side" singer's first anti-gay controversy. Though she told OutLines in 1990 that she had once had a relationship with a woman, her views on homosexuality began to change when she rediscovered religion.
"There are some inconvenient truths that I'm now a born again, sanctified, saved-in-the-blood Christian," she told the Dallas Voice in 2008. "So much of what's said and done in the name of that Christianity is appalling. According to my Bible, which I didn't write, homosexuality is immoral. But homosexuality is no more or less a sin than fornication. And I'm a fornicator with a capital F."
A few years later, at the 2011 Wild Goose Festival, she was asked by an audience member about her views on the subject. "Who drafted me as a gay icon?" she replied. "You are looking at the world's greatest homophobe. Ask God what he thinks."