(CNN) — Carlos Santana faced criticism on Thursday when a video of the musician making anti-transgender comments during a concert in New Jersey in July resurfaced on social media.
“When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are,” the guitarist is seen saying in the clip.
He continued, “Later on when you grow up, and you see things and you start believing that you could be something that sounds good but you know it ain’t right, because a woman is a woman and a man is a man — that’s it.”
“Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that’s your business, I’m OK with that,” Santana added, before mentioning his closeness to his “brother Dave Chapelle,” who also faced criticism for anti-LGBTQ comments made in his 2021 Netflix comedy special “The Closer.”
The criticism Santana faced on Thursday prompted the “Smooth” singer to release a statement on his Facebook page, where he wrote, “I am sorry for my insensitive comments.”
“They don’t reflect that I want to honor and respect all person’s (sic) ideals and beliefs. I realize that what I said hurt people and that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and everyone I offended,” his statement continued.
Santana went on to mention that his “personal goal” is to “honor and respect all person’s (sic) ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not. This is the planet of free will and we have all been given this gift. I will now pursue this goal to be happy and have fun, and for everyone to believe what they want and follow in your hearts without fear.”
“It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments,” he concluded.
The comments come during a record-shattering year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in the United States, with over 400 bills having been introduced in state legislatures since the start of the year – a new record, according to American Civil Liberties Union data as of April.
Education and health care-related bills, in particular, have swept through state legislatures at unprecedented levels, with a renewed push to ban access to gender-affirming health care for transgender youth and a heavy focus on regulating curriculum in public schools, including discussions around gender identity and sexuality.