On Sunday, folk singer and onetime Lilith Fair regular Michelle Shocked stunned a San Francisco audience with a vicious anti-gay tirade. (Source: http://is.gd/O2IEGF) Shocked told the crowd that she lived in fear of same-sex marriage and even co-opted the rhetoric of the Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-gay hate group, by declaring that "God hates fags."
Audience members reportedly walked out in disgust.
Freedom of speech and artistic expression are critically important, but this isn't about 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.
Michelle Shocked is currently on tour, and many performance venues are cancelling her upcoming shows in light of Shocked's bigoted rant. Let's demand that the rest do the same.