US congressman slams Lady Gaga for ‘defiling’ national anthem at New York Pride

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A US Congressman has attacked Lady Gaga for her performance of the US national anthem at the weekend’s New York Pride, saying she “defiled” it by substituting some words with a reference to the gay community.

The Paparazzi singer sang the first section of the verse of the Star Spangled Banner as usual, before substituting the words “land of the free, and the home for the gay.”

Congressman Allen West was heavily critical of the singer, writing on his Facebook page on Monday that she was “reprehensible” for making the change.

“Having served in the US Army for 22 years alongside some very brave men and women, I find Lady Gaga’s defiling of our National Anthem reprehensible,” the former Florida representative wrote, reports the Washington Times.

“We are the land of the free because America has always been the home of the brave from Lexington and Concord to Kandahar. This young lady should be taken to Ft. McHenry and given a history lesson as to why Francis Scott Key wrote those words incredible words.

“In this week where we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the 237th anniversary of our Independence is further evidence of the level of ignorance and disrespect some have for our national character.”

He concluded: “She and all those who cheered her abomination should be ashamed and apologize to every serving and retired member of our Armed Services… But perhaps I ask too much…”

Accompanying her performance, Lady Gaga made a stirring speech about feeling accepted by the LGBT community, and wanting to give back.

“When I was in high school and grade school and younger, I was considered to be an outcast and I just couldn’t find my place,” Gaga said.

“[But] there was a particular crowd who did accept me. There was a particular crowd who made room for me at their table, who held me up when I felt I couldn’t, who loved me for exactly who I was. It was you. And to stand here equal to you tonight, it’s been a dream of mine since my very first experiences with the LGBT community.”

Last week, Cher performed at a fundraiser for New York Pride.

This weekend also saw Prides being held in San Francisco and in London. Pride in London featured artists A*M*E and Class A.