In an attempt to appease the outraged LGBT community over Donnie McClurkin's appearance in his "Embrace The Change Tour" this weekend in South Carolina the Obama Camp announced hours ago that they would be inviting an openly gay minister to open up each performance. Obama and his advisors had already made a huge mistake by not foreseeing the potential controversy by adding McClurkin to the roster in the beginning but now they've gone from bad to worse.
Rev. Andy Sidden, openly gay pastor of Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia, S.C. has been invited to speak to the hundreds of black people who will attend this three day tour. This announcement came shortly after a conference call with LGBT leaders including Joe Solmonese of the HRC.
"I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community’s disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to ‘break the curse of homosexuality.’ There is no gospel in Donnie McClurkin’s message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. That’s a message that certainly doesn’t belong on any Presidential candidate’s stage."
"I did thank him for announcing he would be adding an openly gay minister as part of the tour and for his willingness to call on religious leaders to open a dialogue about homophobia. We hope that Sen. Obama will move forward and facilitate face to face meetings with religious leaders, like Rev. McClurkin, and the GLBT community to confront the issue of homophobia", Solmonese said.
Keith Boykin writes on his blog, "I don't know if the Obama campaign realizes this, but inviting a white gay pastor to speak at a black gospel concert is not a smart move. Whoever is advising Obama really needs to reach out to people in the black community and re-think this whole approach."
I don't think Obama is a bad guy and he's been very consistent with his support of the LGBT community. It's unfortunate that he hasn't reached out to the black gay community because we could have stopped him from making two mistakes in one week that could ultimately cost him the nomination. I'm sure he would like for all of this negative attention to turn but this move has only added more fuel to the fire. Whose idea was it to send a white gay minister to speak to a crowd of black southern Christians?
John Amaechi said something on Oprah that in my opinion is being reinforced by this whole mess. After a book signing he said a black woman came up to him and thanked him for telling his story because she never knew black gays existed. Apparently neither does Obama's advisors.