There’s never a good time or place to go on an anti-gay tirade, but onstage at a club in San Francisco owned by a gay man, in front of many gay fans, is probably near the bottom of the list.
Michelle Shocked, a singer-songwriter whose sexuality was once fairly ambiguous, stunned fans Sunday night at Yoshi’s Jazz Club with a homophobic rant, according to USA Today. The 51-year-old singer reportedly said that if California’s Proposition 8, which effectively bans gay marriage, is overturned, “it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back.”
As her rant went on, fans left the show en masse. Yahoo Music reports that Yoshi’s sound operator, a gay man, finally pulled the plug and asked Shocked to leave the stage, though she managed to shout “You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates f–s!'” to what remained of the confused audience before departing.
The fact that Shocked was widely believed to be gay makes the whole thing no less, well, shocking. In a 1990 interview with the now-defunct Chicago gay dispatch Outlines, she talked about the fluidity of her sexuality, waxing nostalgic about her first sexual experience with a woman.
But Shocked became a born again Christian and joined the West Angeles Church of Christ choir in the 1990s; in 2008, she told gay newspaper the Dallas Voice that she considers homosexuality a sin.
“There are some inconvenient truths that I’m now a born again, sanctified, saved-in-the-blood Christian,” she told the Voice. “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 less a sin than fornication. And I’m a fornicator with a capital F.”
Update: Shocked has issued a statement saying she is “damn sorry” for her comments, Spin reports. Unfortunately, her apology is just as confusing as the initial rant.