Before she did, however, she addressed the crowd.
“It’s my LGBT friends and fans who always said to me, ‘I knew Lady Gaga when.’ Well look who the star is now,” Gaga said, gesturing to the crowd and referencing the national spotlight on the LGBT community after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA the previous week.
Gaga appeared to tear up during her speech prior to singing. During the course of the song, she changed a few words to better suit the occasion — changing “banner” to “Oh say does that star-spangled flag of pride yet wave” and turning America into “a home for the gay.”
Gaga also addressed the rash of hate crimes against the gay community in New York City of late. The NY Daily News reports that Gaga told the crowd, “The violence that has taken place towards LGBTs in the past months is unacceptable here and anywhere. We are not a niche. We are a part, a big giant part of humanity. It’s time for us to be mainstream. I demand the rights! To safe streets!”
“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,” Gaga explained.