Melissa Etheridge on Rick Warren: We Need to Speak Our Own Truth

Melissa Etheridge appeared on Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show yesterday, and discussed Etheridge’s embrace of anti-gay Pastor rick Warren following news that he was going to be giving the invocation at Obama’s inauguration, as well as the anger from activists who felt she was undermining their message:

Etheridge“I am sorry if they felt like in any way I undermined them. I truly believe everyone has their perspective and position on this. I’m glad for the activists who say this is not right to include someone who has spoke very poorly about a community that got this man elected…I also know I had this experience that I had to speak about…I think the best thing I can do for the gay community is speak my truth and say this is what happened to me…We should hold people accountable. Now, does that mean they are exiled from what we are trying to accomplish here, which is a united America? Or do we say, we see you now? You can’t be part of this party and hide that. I really want people to know that I’m not defending him. Okay, you now (sic), again, it’s such a fine line. And I, in my path and where I’m at, believe that we accomplish more by being present, by being out and open and saying you can no longer do this and we are all in this together. You got up and gave the invocation in front of two million people who wanted change and you are now held responsible. I think change happens when you include, not when you exclude…”

Listen to the whole interview at Signorile’s site The Gist.

Melissa Etheridge Defends Rick Warren on NPR [tr]
Biden, Etheridge Talk Rick Warren as Calls to Dump Him Continue [tr]
Rick Warren Defends Inauguration Invite, Engages Melissa Etheridge [tr]


  1. says

    I don’t hate her guts or anything but MAN it’s disappointing to see someone I previously held in high regard slip quite a few notches. Now she’s claiming she didn’t defend him? Melissa, you flat-out defended him, period. That is “your path,” that is “where you are right now.” And all that other nonsense. It was stupid, it is stupid and I hope at some point you’ll come to at least regret it.

  2. says

    “I’m glad for the activists who say this is not right to include someone who has spoke very poorly about a community that got this man elected”

    Spoke very poorly? Me’liss, it’s called hate speech. She’s a moron. Let her keep sucking at Warren’s dick head. Fool.

  3. says

    Is she retarded? I didn’t understand word one of that quote. It was this weird “word salad” where she kept talking and talking but never actually SAID anything.

    I’d rather not have Ms. Etheridge speak on behalf of my civil rights, thanks.

  4. BD1421 says

    I think she’s trying to make the point that we should be striving for a UNITED America… that we should always be reaching out to embrace and accept all people – just as we are asking others to do for the LGBT community.
    Melissa is NOT a moron. She has, for many years, been a strong voice for gays and lesbians everywhere. Just because you don’t agree with this particular comment of hers, please don’t disrespect her with such a universalizing statement.

  5. Philbert says

    Melissa is 100% right. Anger and divisiveness serves only to compound the problem. If you show people the many things you have in common it becomes harder for them to justify the objection to the few things they disagree with. Life is a growth and learning process. Anger and isolation doesn’t help anyone grow. Have you all not learned anything from Barak Obama’s campaign? Do you think he would have been elected if he put up a wall and attacked everyone who disagreed with him. There will always be the few who will never come around. Maybe Warren will be one of them. But the rest will be more willing to treat you as an equal if you do the same to them.

  6. Pender says

    Etheridge got taken in by a charismatic bigot. She legitimized him and gave him lots of see-I-have-gay-friends photo ops while not doing a thing to change his bigotry. Her heart is in the right place, but she’s a useful idiot for America’s bigots, and we’re all better off recognizing that.

  7. Yeek says

    Philbert –

    Issues like this fall into the “matters of degree” zone. Anger CAN help. It motivates. Stonewall and the AIDS-movements of the 80s were motivated by anger – not a desire to reconcile or to accommodate or to see the silver lining of goodness in people. It’s not the only answer, but there’s something to be said for saying “we’ve compromised enough.”

    I think it’s a bit facile to say that criticizing Warren and objecting to his choice as invocation speaker is somehow comparable to “attack[ing] everyone.” Life is not all about the carrot – sometimes you need to brandish the stick a little.

    As for Etheridge, I think she’s making a sincere effort to help, but she’s ruled by sentiment and seems too crunchy and ingratiating to have any kind of effective strategy. A desire for peace speaks well for anyone’s character, but it does not mean you aren’t making incredibly stupid and ineffectual decisions. The real test will be whether Warren wants anything to do with her as a ‘friend’ now that he doesn’t need her PR support. I doubt he’ll make much of an effort.

  8. txstevo says

    Where was Rick Warren’s message of inclusiveness in his invocation?

    I’m sure it makes her feel important to be the ambassador to bigotry but Melissa Etheridge needs to STFU!

  9. says

    My problem with “Unity”? Since when do we have to campaign to be “liked enough” before we are grant the equal rights we ALREADY deserve as Americans? There will ALWAYS be people who HATE us, just as there are STILL people who hate women, blacks, asians, or anyone else not like them. Melissa is willing to wait 30 years for equality – I say FUCK THAT NOISE.

    EQUALITY is ours to TAKE; I personally refuse to beg anymore [equality tax revolt].

  10. Angi says

    Must be nice to sit at your computer and judge so freely. She has be a tireless advocate for MANY years. She makes one mistake and you want to kick her to the curb. Talk turning the hate in the VERY WRONG direction. She was out and proud WAY before many of you were born. Turning on one of your own is EXACTLY what the religious right wants. United we stand, remember?

  11. FunMe says

    Bitch, please.

    The best she can do for the GLBT is to just go away.

    This is a VERY BIG issue, and her actions have undermine the efforts of many of us to make a statement against Warren’s homophobia.

    She needs to STOP talking for us because she does not represent us.

    Bitch please. STFU!

  12. Bryan says

    In her comments on this issue, Miss Etheridge maintains a level of incoherence normally reached only by hysterical Christianists aspiring to speak in tongues. It’s clear she has nothing to say – no facts, no reasoned arguments, and no useful conclusions. We have to assume she’s working primarily to enhance her celebrity, and also wonder if perhaps she’s just not terribly bright.

    But the problem here is not so much Etheridge, but rather those who think her celebrity status as a singer and open lesbian qualifies her to address public policy issues, and so provide her a forum in which to demonstrate the opposite.

    Being an LGBT entertainer relates to LGBT politics to the same degree that being a driver relates to highway construction. That the two are related doesn’t excuse regarding the former as somehow qualified for the latter.

  13. Domminik says

    She betrayed her own community. Betrayal has a price. I say we ostracize her and deem her insignificant when speaking about our rights. And boycott her shite music! Traitor.

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