American Idol runner-up La’Porsha Renae sparked controversy when she said she didn’t agree with the LGBT “lifestyle.”
During an interview on April 8, Renae was asked about the “Religious Liberty” bill that had been passed into law in her home state of Mississippi. The bill will take play July 1 and protects individuals, religious organizations and certain businesses who have “sincerely held religious belief or moral convictions” that marriage “should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”
In the interview, Renae explained her feelings about the LGBT community.
“This is how I feel about the LGBT community: they are people just like us…They’re people with feelings. Although many of us may not agree with that particular lifestyle for religious reasons – whatever the reason is. You still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. You still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. We should be able to coexist with one another. I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way, it wasn’t how I was raised. But I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I love dearly who are gay and homosexual, and they’re such sweet nice people. We should just respect each other’s differences and opinions and move on.”
Immediately, people responded with their disapproval.
“Being gay isn’t a lifestyle; it’s part of who someone is,” LGBT activist Shane Bitney Cone tweeted. “Using the word lifestyle implies it’s a choice – which it isn’t.”
Renae quickly responded on Periscope saying she “didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
“I tried to be as open and honest and neutral as possible, but that’s the way interviews go,” she said. “Sometimes when you do interviews, it gets twisted up. I can understand when I read it back why people were offended, and for that I deeply apologize. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I was just trying to honestly answer a question that caught me off guard. It was supposed to be an interview about singing, and it became political and I’m not a political person at all.”
Renae was runner-up to fellow Mississippi native, Trent Harmon. Both are now signed singers with Big Machine Records.
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