San Francisco

San Francisco Gay Men's Choir Receives Death Threats, Criticism Over Satirical Song

The satirical video was uploaded to YouTube last week and it has touched off plenty of debate on social media.


What was supposed to be a satirical song by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus at the end of Pride Month has turned into a controversy.

Threats of violence aimed at chorus members even forced workers to be sent home early for the week.

The video was uploaded to website YouTube last week and it has touched off plenty of debate on social media.

“You can keep 'em from Disco. Warn about San Francisco. Make 'em wear pleated pants, we don't care," the group said in the video. "We'll convert your children. We'll make them tolerant, and fair.”

The phrase "we'll convert your children" is what's really prompted an angry response.

Comments on their YouTube post have mostly been negative. Many of the comments included threats of violence.

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus said it contacted the FBI and San Francisco police about the death threats on social media and through email.

They issued a statement online about their decision to pull the video from public view and then repost it again, so the public can see it's satirical.

The choir's executive director and a group spokesperson did not want to speak to NBC Bay Area on camera on Friday, citing concerns for their safety.

Joshua Stickney with Equality California said the threats are shocking.

“For over four decades, they've been an institution in our city and in the LGBTQ-plus movement. I think it's really a shame that they're being subjected to this kind of hate," he said.

But not everyone in the LGBTQ community is whole-heartedly defending the chorus.

Longtime activist and public speaker Arthur Corbin said the lyrics are provocative.

“This could put Gay people in danger, coast to coast. It could give people permission to attack us and people are already trigger happy," Corbin said.

Corbin added the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has performed the song before in concerts to audiences that understand the context and humor. He said releasing the song on social media is a different matter and that leaders of the chorus should have known better.

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