Target: Midwestern and West Coast concert venues
Goal: Thank venues for canceling performances from anti-gay singer-songwriter
Recently, singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked went on an anti-gay rant during a concert in San Francisco, saying that she believes that “the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry.” The venue’s manager, in collaboration with other employees on duty, shut down the show immediately, cutting her mic and lights and issuing patrons an apology that included refund offers. All other venues on Ms. Shocked’s United States tour have cancelled the singer’s upcoming shows as well. Thank concert venues for refusing to host a performer who demonstrates hate towards gays.
Michelle Shocked has been a famous singer-songwriter since the 1980’s, beating out singers such as Sinead O’Connor and the Indigo Girls for prestigious awards. Her public opinion regarding gays and lesbians has been conflicted – in regards to LGBTQ rights, she has been cited as both an ally and an opponent. Regardless of her stance, a public figure like Michelle Shocked should know better than to direct hate-speech towards anyone, let alone a minority. In fact, Ms. Shocked was so vehement about her opinion that she concluded it with the statement: “You can go on Twitter and say ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.’” It’s no wonder that more than two-thirds of her audience walked out proceeding her anti-gay slur.
Ms. Shocked’s use of the phrase “God hates fags” aligns her with the hate group Westboro Baptist Church, who has frequently displayed the phrase on both protest signs and their website. Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for picketing funerals of dead soldiers who were allegedly gay. A venue that Ms. Shocked was supposed to perform at in Evanston, Illinois said on its website: “After speaking with the promoter of that show out the nature of the remarks, it’s clear that this is no longer a show we’re willing to put our name on.” Another venue remarked that Shocked’s comments were “ugly in nature and not meant to be artistic or satirical in any way…It wasn’t a very hard decision for us.” Their unwavering stance in the face of bigotry is an important contribution to the fight for gay rights. Show these venues that you support and are proud of their decision.
Dear Venue Owners,
We are writing to thank you for cancelling your portion of Michelle Shocked’s tour. Her anti-gay rant, though protected under freedom of speech, was inflammatory and bigoted. Her use of the word “fags” aligns her with hate groups like Westboro Baptist Church and her failure to apologize reveals the fact that she does not show remorse.
By promoting a zero-tolerance policy, you are ensuring that patrons feel safe and welcome when they choose to visit your establishment. You are also setting an example for other venues who may be faced with similar issues. As the United States approaches a turning point in the gay civil rights movement, we thank you for standing on the right side history.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Oscar López González via Flickr