American Idol's La’Porsha Renae draws anger for anti-LGBT comments

Asked about her home state Mississippi’s new anti-gay law, the American Idol runner-up called being LGBT a ‘lifestyle choice’ she didn’t agree with

La’Porsha Renae, the runner-up for the final season of American Idol, which ended last week by crowning Trent Harmon the winner, has come under fire for saying she doesn’t agree with the LGBT “lifestyle”.

The Mississippi-born Renae was asked to comment on her home state’s newly signed anti-LGBT law, which blocks anti-discrimination rules for the LGBT community based on the idea of “religious liberty”, shortly after the American Idol finale aired on Thursday.

“This is how I feel about the LGBT community: they are people just like us,” she said on a conference call, according to Jezebel. “They’re people with feelings. Although all 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. We should be able to coexist with one another.”

Renae went on to further say that she is “one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle”.

“I wasn’t brought up that way,” she said. “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.”

Renae elaborated on her remarks on Twitter.

Fans were quick to respond, voicing their disapproval. One dissent came from prominent LGBT activist Shane Bitney Cone (who produced the gay rights documentary Bridegroom: A Love Story, Unequaled), who tweeted: “Being gay isn’t a lifestyle; it’s part of who someone is. Using the word lifestyle implies it’s a choice – which it isn’t.”

As Jezebel pointed out, Renae’s comments are in stark contrast to a statement she made to Yahoo Music on Wednesday, saying she planned to use the American Idol spotlight “for good”. “It’s a show where a lot of times they shed light on certain things,” she said of the show.

American Idol has dealt with a similar LGBT-related controversies over its 15-year run: in 2006, finalist Mandisa stated she would never perform at an LGBT event because she’s “not an advocate for being gay”.


Nigel M Smith

The GuardianTramp

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