The larger-than-life pop star who routinely plays to thousands in stadiums and sports arenas spoke from a much more modest stage today: a small podium in Portland, Maine.
As promised, Lady Gaga (pictured left at last week’s VMAs, with discharged gay soldiers) took her message of equality to the Pine Tree State this afternoon, speaking out against the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to a crowd of several hundred at Deerings Oak Park. And unsurprisingly, she had a meat-centered metaphor for it all:
“I spent 48 hours trying to find the perfect thing to say,” she told the gathered attendees. “My address to you today is called ‘The prime rib of America.'” Click through to the jump to watch Gaga’s entire 18-minute speech (clips via Idolator).
According to a transcript posted on the local Morning Sentinel, she continued: “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will defend the Constitution of the U.S, bear true faith and allegiance … I will obey the order of president of the United States and officers appointed over me, so help me God …Unless there is a gay solider in my unit, sir. That is the oath taken every day.”
“Equality is the prime rib of America, but because I’m gay I don’t get to enjoy the greatest cut of meat my country has to offer.”
Addressing the infamous Matthew Shepard case, she continued: “Doesn’t ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ seem to be backwards? Doesn’t it seem to you we should send home the prejudice? The straight soldier who hates the gay soldier, whose performance is affected because he is homophobic? He holds and harbors hate and he gets to stay and fight for our country. We gay soldiers, who harbor no hate, no phobia, are sent home … I’d like to propose a new law, a law that sends home the soldier that has the problem. Our new law is called ‘If you don’t like it, go home.'”
“Send home straight soldiers who fight for some equalities, but not for the equality of the gay… If you are not committed to perform in excellence because you don’t believe in equality —go home! I thought equality was non-negotiable.”
“If the Senate and the President are not going to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ perhaps they should be more clear with us about who the military is fighting for, who our tax dollars are supporting and ultimately, how much does the prime rib cost? Because I thought this was an all you can eat buffet. I have to pay extra, because I’m gay. I’m allowed to stand in line, get shot at, shoot a gun. But when it’s time to order my meal, to benefit from the freedoms of the Constitution, I have to pay extra. I shouldn’t have to pay extra.”
“My name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. I am an American citizen,” she reportedly concluded, before leading a chant of “Go home!” and exiting the stage.
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