Former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) ripped Lady Gaga in a Facebook post Monday, demanding the singer apologize for altering the words of the National Anthem.
West called Gaga's "defiling" of the song "reprehensible."
"She and all those who cheered her abomination should be ashamed and apologize to every serving and retired member of our Armed Services," West continued.
Gaga's Speech From the Rally
I’m so happy. I’m so honoured to be here tonight with you, for you. In any way I can be of service, I wanted to be here. Just like all of you, I am here to celebrate history in the making. And I know that there were some comedians on before me but I’m going to take a more serious route. I would like to thank everyone from the Supreme Court to every legislator and political leader that has stood with us. I congratulate all of you as we assemble here, on the pier. Tonight truly gives a new meaning to ‘pier-queen’. I am so fortunate to have been welcomed by all of you into the LGBT community and to this family. From the very young aged to the elders of this community, they share their stories with me daily. I listen to their stories and I understand more of the history and I marvel at how our civil rights movement is a continuum, it is ongoing, it is so brave. It was born, like you, to survive. Our evolution as LGBT citizens and as allies continues to change and we see that the further we are able to reveal and share our lives, the further we move into the hearts and minds of other Americans.
To everyone that came out to your family: thank you. To everyone that came out to their friends and to their coworkers, even though they were afraid, everyone who was fearless to tell their brave story: this change is happening because of you. To the ones who had the courage to challenge, to mobilize, to take action and to inspire a movement. A movement that was in a place of feeling lesser than to now a visible, powerful, organized, peaceful and loving community that demands full equality, full protections and safety guaranteed to us under the law. We want nothing less than every other American.
I’m here tonight to honour my heroes. And luckily I have many to look up to and many to look at tonight. We’re here for our activists and our icons. From Harvey Milk to Bayard Rustin, Frank Kameny, Larry Kramer; to Rita Mae Brown and Susan Anthony right up to the real warrior of the weekend: Edith Windsor. And of course, another great icon: Cher.
When I was a young girl, in high school, grade school and younger, I was considered to be an outcast and I just couldn’t find my place. Where did I fit in? When I look back on that time, I remember feeling that I was cut from a different mold. I wasn’t naturally thin like most of my female classmates. My Italian heritage showed its stronghold in my nose and I found it very hard during this time to maintain any healthy friendships and a healthy sense of self. I felt no sense of value and that depression, that shame, it carried me into my twenties… even into my career. And although, during this pivotal time of growth, I didn’t find that normal acceptance that I thought I would have in school, there was a particular crowd that did accept me. It was a particular crowd who made room for me at their table. Who helped me out when I felt I couldn’t and 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 when I was just a little girl in dance school.
Since then, I’ve always had this strange relationship with God. I didn’t know if God was real or what God meant. I certainly didn’t know what he meant to America and it was because I felt so damaged, so destroyed, so degraded by those kids at school and by my own psychological struggles with my body, by men in the business who only wanted me for sex and money, as I tried to keep a famous face and carry on. It was you that saved me. You saved me, my friends in the LGBT community, time and time again. And I saw God for the first real time in all of you.
You were sent to me like angels to protect me and to save me. It was you who understood my need to hide behind the wigs, the glasses, the glamour of the clothing, the fantasy that set me free, my passion for theatre, my passion for art, my worth as a woman. What is transcendental God for many, is for me real everyday because I get to be with you. I get to see God every day when I’m with you. And now I’m so lucky. My passion for freedom runs between us connected, it’s like a vein. I’m yours and if you’ll have me, you will always be mine.
I wanted to thank my heroes who are here tonight: my friends Frederic, who does my hair and for Brandon who does my clothes. For all of the late night talks and the tears, never wanting anything from me other than our deep friendship. Your ability to heal a broken phoenix with all your magic and transform me back.
So many of you are geniuses at this and you are the reason that I am so strong today. The strength and the perseverance, I feel it. Because you’ve never given up on you, I knew I could never give up on me.
I’m here for the youth and their rights and to be a visible figure for them in any way I can be, to help them become the best individuals that they can with no limits on their potential and on their future. That is why I started the Born This Way Foundation with my mother. That is why I released my album, Born This way. I want to remind the world of the cultural relevance and importance of this community. We are not a niche; we are a big, giant part of humanity. It is time for us to be mainstream
Although we will party and celebrate tonight, I just want to remind you that Gay Pride started as a rally. So lets rally on one issue and repeat the last word of each phrase for me.
We are the continuum
We are ongoing
We continue the spirit of the first official gay rally in 1970 in New York one year after Stonewall
And although this weekend is a time for victory, I am a citizen of New York
And I demand the rights
To safe streets
The violence that has taken place towards LGBTs in the past months is unacceptable here and anywhere, enough is enough
But tonight will be our night and now we can marry it if we want to. It’s our win. Doesn’t it feel nice to win? And before I go I just want to thank you. It’s my lgbt friends and fans who said to me: “I knew Lady Gaga when”. Well, look who the star is now. Now I get to say that I knew you when. Now I get to say I knew you when you suffered, when you felt unequal, when you felt there was nothing to look forward to. I knew you then and I knew you when, but I really know you now.
Video of her flawless vocals for your viewing and listening pleasure
Her Full Speech