Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked goes on homophobic rant, Yoshi's says she won't be back

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Shocked at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, 2007.
PHOTO BY SIGMUND/CREATIVE COMMONS.

UPDATE: now with audio of the incident. 

What is going on with Michelle Shocked? The Texas alt-folk singer-songwriter, formerly known as a leftist-feminist relic of the late 1980s/early '90s, apparently went on a homophobic rant at one of her two Yoshi's shows this past Sunday in San Francisco.

As the Bay Area Reporter notes, Shocked, who seems to have found religion in the past decade, told the Yoshi's crowd: “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.”

As Queerty.com reports, “The singer has been open about being a born-again Christian, but was still active in progressive politics. (She was arrested at an Occupy LA event in 2011).”

Here's more from the Bay Area Reporter on the incident this weekend:
One woman shouted: "Don't say that shit in San Francisco."

Shocked replied, "Where do I go to say it?”

In response to audience reaction, Shocked offered a Spanish prayer that "God loves you. God loves us. God loves us all everywhere." Later, in English, she said: "God bless us everyone."

Many fans questioned the singer out loud: "What are you saying?"

With a broad smile, Shocked said. "You are going to leave here and tell people 'Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots.'"

By that point, much of the audience had walked out in disgust, and Yoshi's management later cut the mics and turned on the lights, as Shocked continued to perform.

The story blew up on Twitter, as audience members tweeted confused reactions to the singer's offensive comments.

Yoshi's SF director of marketing and public relations Lisa Bautista answered my call this morning and said she was not there when the incident happened, but she did get a phone call from Yoshi's artistic director Derek Hunter after Shocked's show. Hunter confirmed they did indeed stop the show. Bautista also got additional comments from people who were present.

In his official statement to Bautista, Hunter said, "This was Michelle Shock's third visit to Yoshi's San Francisco; her first was March 2009. She has never given any indication that she is anti-gay or racist in her previous plays. She obviously has some serious issues and unfortunately chose our venue to vent them."

Added Bautista to me, “[Shocked] won't be back.” Bautista also had venues nationwide calling this morning to verify if Shocked made such remarks.

Novato's Hopmonk Tavern sent out a release this afternoon canceling Shocked's scheduled show: “Due to comments made by Michelle Shocked at Yoshi’s in San Francisco last night, March 17, we have decided to cancel our show with Michelle on March 29. Refunds can be made at place of purchase.”

Truly, an upsetting incident for all those involved, especially ticket-holders and former fans of the singer.

**UPDATE: @yoshisSF_OAK tweeted this at 1:40PM today: "WE AT YOSHI'S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK."

**UPDATE 2: An anonymous audience member was recording the incident and sent us the file, which you can listen to below: 

Comments

that is bullshit. There are no rational arguments against gay marriage. Just irrational ones rooted in fear and prejudice.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

people have voted on it and their wishes should be upheld.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

where the wishes of "the people" are subservient to the rights and privileges enumerated under our constitution. "The people" cannot strip rights away which are guaranteed under law. That is the ultimate check on the tyranny of the majority.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

We have to remember who we are. Too many people today are using religion as an excuse for selfishness and hate, and the constitution as support for repeating all the mistakes the country has made for the last 200-plus years.

Posted by JC on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:27 am

It's just so annoying, isn't it?

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Posted by hello on Nov. 16, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

Or just a privilege. Historically it has been a privilege, and if we the people wish to change that then we can vote accordingly.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:33 am

The Supreme Court has held that marriage is a fundamental right, again and again. That being established, there is no constitutional reason to withhold that right from same-sex couples.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:05 am

more a matter of convention and approbation of the people.

Why don't threesomes have a constitutional right to marry?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:36 am

We're not talking about threesomes, and you're bringing them up as a diversion because you want to frame same-sex relationships as unconventional as threesomes. They're not.

You (or another Guest, but I suspect it was you) wrote that marriage was a privilege, and that's wrong; it's a right, guaranteed in law, as you now acknowledge.

The Fourteenth Amendment says that the state and federal governments must afford equal protection of the laws to all citizens. Unless a state can show a good reason to make an exception like the one California is making for same-sex couples, it must apply its marriage laws equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. How the exception is passed--whether by the legislature, the voters, whatever--is irrelevant if the law violates the Constitution. Why is that so hard to understand?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:53 am

a person to marry someone of the same sex, but not two people of either sex.

It's the next logical step in loosening the definition of marriage so that it ends up being just a loose bond of any number of consenting adults.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:09 am

Your answer shows that you think there is something fundamental about the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, but can't articulate why.

The fundamental right comes in because, contrary to what you believe, there is no essential difference between a same-sex marriage and an opposite-sex one. Given that it's the same thing, the Equal Protection Clause is violated when rights are extended as a result of an opposite-sex marriage but not to a same-sex one.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:26 am

And do you believe that other civil rights should be voted on by the people? Perhaps we could vote on whether blacks really deserve to be free and equal. Or maybe we could vote on whether women should be allowed to hold jobs and go to school or just stay home and make babies.
You don't VOTE on people's civil rights.

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Posted by http://gagner-de-l-argent-facilement.tumblr.com on Dec. 25, 2013 @ 10:41 am

Actually, a non prejudice person can be against ALL marriage.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

I do believe the crux of this matter is an awkward church/state intersection. If we deleted all legal reference to marriage and made them all civil unions, and left marriage to be a matter of vows taken by one in front of one's God, congregation, pastor and church, that would be fair and keep right wing pastors from upsetting unstable needy people with images of the state forcing all churches to marry any two people (classic red herring), we'd be on to a good solution. Some couples could choose only the legal secular contract of civil union, others only the religious vows before God of "marriage," and many would choose both out of a sense of tradition. I think this is what the California Supreme Court was hinting at in their (correct, & anguished) decision. Get your God out of my laws, off my body, and out of my love life! Worship as you please. Talk about Sharia?! Sheesh!

Posted by Guest Terry on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

the left has their own religious types who look on the bible as a concrete affirmation of their opinions as fact.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

My husband and I were married without any sort of religion or God involved. (We are straight.) Why do we have to call it a civil union? Plenty of gay people are religious, and there are churches that are willing to marry gay people. So why can't gay people be married? The civil union argument doesn't make sense to me. People should be afford the same rights and privileges regardless of their sexual orientation.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

That's entiely in keeping with what I meant: pure freedom on the church side to limit however any given "church" wants, or be open, and pure openness and equality on the government side; decouple the legal from the religious. Her rant centered on the false story thats told that "the gays" (me included) are trying to make their churches do things. Nope. Christian gays have churches where they are welome. Oddly, Rand Paul worked his way around to this idea in the last couple days; not someone I often am congruent with! I think this whole fight is because govenment and church got too intertwined on marriage (tho I know you can do a secular marriage with no church, but not vice versa. (BTW, I am personally sort of against gay marriage :) am like a Dem politician from a Catholic district on abortion: "against it myself, but believe people should have the choice." ;'>)

Posted by Guest Terry on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:09 am

I thought I was the only one to come to this conclusion.

I predict this is the way it will go, and in 100 years it will be normal.

That's a long time.

Posted by Peter on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

You can oppose it simply on the grounds that a majority of voters have rejected extending the concept of marriage in CA in this way.

While if the voters approved it, as they have in some other States, then that is fine.

Religion doesn't come into it in that case.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:35 am

How would you feel if the voters outlawed interracial marriage?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:46 am

So it depends when you ask the question. Public opinion fluctuates over time and so the way that is expressed by the voters also fluctuates.

I have no problem with elections.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:08 am

...with justice, though.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:29 am

It clearly varies by person, time, jurisdiction etc.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:56 am

Yeah, ditto on what Lucretia Snapples said...

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

Someone living in a cave just missed that the SCOTUS just heard the SSM arguments last week. LOL

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

Please see above

Posted by AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAH.. Dumb fuck. on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

I would honestly love to hear your thoughts on why "being against gay marriage is not inherently homophobic."

Posted by emily on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

of California could and should be trusted with making that decision.

So one can be in favor of gay marriage, personally, but still accept the right of the majority of CA voters to decide what type of institutions they want to have.

Posted by anon on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

Our political system since its inception been designed to limit both state rights and the right of the majority to pass any law it so chooses and this was done to protect individual civil rights.

Our founding fathers warned of the tryanny of the majority and created a political system to curb abuses by the majority against indivduals and minority groups.

I personally do not support any law that is based solely on irrational prejudice, and I don't think such laws deserve any special deference simply because the majority supports them.

While I acknowledge that all laws are based on some sort of distinction or discrimination, I realize there is a world of a difference between a law with a rational basis and one grounded simply in prejudice and bigotry. I will be quite glad to see Prop. 8 overturned.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

The question here was only whether one can oppose gay marriage without being homophobic.

And I demonstrated that it is possible, as long as you believe that the voters' will should always trump subjective opinions about what is "right" or "wrong".

You do not have to be homophobic to believe that voting should count for something.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

You have demonstrated nothing. What would you say the reason is for a majority to declare Homosexuality "wrong"? The act of voting against gay marraige is completely ignorant. Science has discovered that Homosexuality is NOT a choice and therefore, those who try to suppress the rights of a minority (even through voting) who have no control over thier sexual orientation is and will always, with NO Excuses be labeled uneducated intolerant controlling psychopaths. The Majority has no say in who or who cannot have a loving committed relationship with another HUMAN BEING!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

I cannot comment on whether a majority believe that to be true or not.

What is true was that the voters were asked if they wanted to extend the definition of marriage to allow people to marry others of the same gender, and they disinclined to approve that change.

You can have no problem with gays and still oppose gay marriage.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

You have demonstrated nothing. What would you say the reason is for a majority to declare Homosexuality "wrong"? The act of voting against gay marraige is completely ignorant. Science has discovered that Homosexuality is NOT a choice and therefore, those who try to suppress the rights of a minority (even through voting) who have no control over thier sexual orientation is and will always, with NO Excuses be labeled uneducated intolerant controlling psychopaths. The Majority has no say in who or who cannot have a loving committed relationship with another HUMAN BEING!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

One (not very attractive) woman i know in her 40's has always been hetero, but guys always seem to dump her in the end and, as she ages and puts on weight, the guys aren't calling any more.

So, can you guess what happens next? Yeah, she suddenly "decides" that she is gay and hooks up with a (frnakly, not very smart) woman of similar vintage.

I'd posit that she very much decided to by gay because it smacked less of failure.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

You sound like a really deep and thoughtful person.

Women lowering their expectations later in life to settle with a "good enough" partner never happens in hetero relationships?

Here's some possibilities for you:
- she's bisexual. Yes, it's not just in porn. Regular folks can be bi too!
- she's gay, always was gay, tried her best to make the straight thing work but ultimately could not because she's GAY.

Guess what, there's a lot of people you may deem "unattractive" that find lasting love- gay and straight.

You're not a smart as you "posit" you are.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

Really? So where is this genetic testing kit I can buy to see who is gay? I haven't seen it advertised anywhere yet! Science has not proven jack about this. There is no conclusive data. I really hate when people say that something has been proven when there is no way to back it up.

Personally I believe some are naturally inclined and some learn the behavior. And either way I really don't care. The whole "gay marriage" is just a way for the militant gay crowd to scream "we're here we're queer get used to it" on a national stage.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

When did this god ''science'' discover that homosexuality is not a choice. If you have no control over whom you have sex with we have institutions for people like you.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

Guest, again, my point is that the "voter's will" may only be exercised within the limits of our Constitution.

Our system of government specifically does NOT permit "majority rule" in every case. So, you can believe "voting should count for something," and still have to acknowledge that certain things either cannot or should not be put up for a vote.

We do not and have never lived in a pure democracy. Voters cannot do whatever they please--and that is by the very design of our political system.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

This is the same woman who said "you are looking at the worlds biggest homophobe", so tell me how she's not anti-gay?

Posted by Oh boy... on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

This is the same woman who said "You are looking at the worlds biggest homophobe", so please tell me how she is not anti-gay?

And stop with the states rights crap. If our system worked that way, some states wouldn't allow mixed race weddings.

Posted by Oh boy... on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

Really? Do you think, perhaps, that the people should have been able to vote about whether blacks should be free and equal? Or maybe that women should be equal? Civil rights should not be left up to a populace whose brains have been fried by 30 years of Fox propaganda. It shouldn't be left up to ANY religious institution to fight laws on equality. Equality of human beings is NOT something you VOTE on.
And, sorry, if you don't believe gays should be allowed to marry, you ARE bigoted. For you feel that person is lesser and not deserving of equality. If you and your church don't want to marry gays that's your right. It is NOT your right to decide who is allowed equality and who is not,

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:01 am

The question was not about being in favor of marriage inequality as established by Prop. 8 and not being homophobic. It was about being against same-sex marriage in principle for non-homophobic reasons.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:00 am

homophobic nor religious.

One might instead simply want such matters decided by popular vote, seeing marriage as an institution of the people for the people.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:17 am

...with same-sex marriage if the voters of California overturned Prop 8?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:28 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 10:06 am

...you're not really against same-sex marriage as such.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

I said I was against it where and when the majority of the people within a jurisdiction do not wish to change the institution of marriage for that location.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

The voters there legalized same-sex marriage. Am I to understand that you're in favor of same-sex marriage there but not in California?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

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