Renae responded with "they are people just like us...They’re people with feelings. Although all of us may not agree with that particular lifestyle for religious reasons -- whatever the reason is. You still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. We should be able to coexist with one another. I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way, it wasn’t how I was raised."
'American Idol' Runner-Up La'Porsha Renae on Hoping to Work With Kelly Clarkson & Being 'An Artist of Truth'
"But I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I love dearly who are gay and homosexual, and they’re such sweet, nice people," she continued. "We should just respect each other’s differences and opinions and move on."
Her initial comments sparked a firestorm on social media, prompting a swift response from the 22-year old singer, who said she "didn't mean to hurt anyone."
"I tried to be as open and honest and neutral as possible, but that’s the way interviews go. Sometimes when you do interviews, it gets twisted up,” she said. “I can understand when I read it back why people were offended, and for that I deeply apologize. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I was just trying to honestly answer a question that caught me off guard. It was supposed to be an interview about singing, and it became political and I’m not a political person at all.”
Renae also showed support for fellow Mississippi native and Idol winner Trent Harmon. Both singers are now signed to Big Machine Records.
"Us both coming from Mississippi, I just wanted both of us to have a chance, and both of us did get a chance," she said.
Renae, who is the first artist signed to the Big Machine Records/Motown label, told Billboard in a post-show conference that she wants to be an "artist of truth."