Some call it patriotic and inspiring, others downright disrespectful...but reaction has been strong to Lady Gaga's performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at last weekend's New York City gay pride celebration. The pop star held a rainbow flag, as she sang lyrics like "O say does that star-spangled flag of pride yet wave," and closed with " O'er the land of the free, and the home for the gay." Her performance came just days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings that favored gay marriage.
The crowd at New York's pride festival responded with loud cheers to Lady Gaga's rendition, but many others were not amused. "I think it's outrageous, it's shameful, and I think it's disrespectful, it's really, really disrespectful," says State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball). "It's disrespectful to everyone who's fought for this country, and to everything that our flag stands for," she tells KTRH. However, Riddle says she isn't surprised to see this type of display from Lady Gaga. "She should be ashamed of herself, but of course she won't be because it's all about her." Riddle sees Lady Gaga as just the latest out-of-touch celebrity to create publicity by disrespecting an American symbol. Recently, rapper Lil' Wayne was criticized for stomping on an American flag during a video shoot.
Lady Gaga's gay-themed rendition of the national anthem isn't likely to change opinions about her, either way. She has long been a vocal and staunch supporter of gay rights, and even posted a photo of herself in a wedding gown on Twitter last week on the day of the Supreme Court's gay marriage rulings. While she was appearing at New York's festival last weekend, Houston held its own gay pride event with thousands of local activists gathering to celebrate the Supreme Court rulings. Local gay rights leaders KTRH contacted regarding the Lady Gaga incident declined to comment.