More Updates :10/24 The pressure on Barack Obama's campaign to sever all ties with homophobic gospel singer Donnie McClurkin has been elevated today from a statement issued by The Human Rights Campaign. HRC is calling for Obama to immediately cancel the event or risk losing support from the LGBT community. HRC is incredibly influential in progressive political circles and could dramatically affect Obama's chance at securing the Democratic nomination. Obama's campaign is scheduled to have a conference call with members of the LGBT community at noon today in an attempt to fix this mess.
The National Black Justice Coalition has also requested to meet with Barack Obama to address the concerns of the black gay community over his decision.
A lot of people in and out of the community don't understand why gay activists are so outraged over Donnie McClurkin's message and his presence on this tour. So let's revisit the infamous quotes from Donnie over the years courtesy of columnist Wayne Besen.
** "Homosexuality has really ravished our children. It started in my generation. I was touched by it and I struggled with it and all that for years and there was nobody to deal with it. I started dealing with it in my sermons and even when we do our concerts." (An interview with www.FamilyChristian.com)
** "Everybody is going to the same hell. The religious hypocrite will go to the same hell as the murderer and homosexual. My job is to say that sin is wrong and kill the sin, not the sinner." (The Voice, 16 July 2001)
** Commenting on New York City's Harvey Milk School, which caters to gay students, he said, "The gloves are off. And if there's going to be a war, there's going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose." (CBN, 700 Club Sept. 23, 2003)
...And for your amusement Donnie's recent statement that he's been misquoted many, many, many, times here courtesy of goodasyou.org .
Update: Barack Obama released the following statement on the Donnie McClurkin controversy on his website. Activist Jasmyne Cannick observes the statement is posted in the LGBT section of his site and not under his general newsroom where all of his statements and press releases are usually found.
"I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country. I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin's views and will continue to fight for these rights as President of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division." -Barack Obama
Journalist and blogger Rod McCollum follows the Obama/McClurkin controversy on his site and points out how this story is being completely ignored by the black mainstream media, Christian websites, and gospel music stations.
Presidential nominee hopeful Barack Obama's campaign recently announced their plan for a gospel concert across South Carolina in an effort to gain some ground on front runner Hillary Clinton who is leading in the polls by 24 percent. The "Embrace The Change" tour is expected to land in three cities in South Carolina and feature performances by ex-gay Donnie McClurkin and anti-gay singers Mary Mary, Byron Cage, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and Hezekiah Walker, a minister who has repeatedly had to deal with rumors regarding his own sexuality for years.
I first heard about this story on Rod 2.0 and later noticed that it was picking up steam across the blogosphere and that many LGBT Obama supporters were not happy about his decision. Obviously this is another example of a politician pandering for votes from the right and from the more conservative voters in his base. I think Barack Obama has made it very clear where he stands on issues that are important to the LGBT community and while I don't have Obama fever I'm not in the least surprised at his actions, and that could be due to the fact that he has yet to impress me. It's not enough for me to vote for a candidate because his skin is the same color as mine and so far to me this seems to be his mantra.
“This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level,” Joshua DuBois, the campaign’s religious affairs director, said in a release. “This concert tour is going to bring new people into the political process and engage people of faith in an unprecedented way.”
Let's get real for a moment. There is one thing that people in the red states identify with collectively and that's homophobia and the gospel acts lined up will without a doubt deliver. Donnie McClurkin has been spreading his dangerous message of "change" for years and Mary Mary compares homosexuals to murderers and prostitutes.
Republican politicians have used the LGBT community to divide this country and energize their base by gay bashing and promoting fear for decades and with this tour Barack Obama stoops to the same pathetic political level. There is nothing God-fearing black folks accept more than a good fire and brimstone sermon condeming "the gays" or better yet a powerful testimony from an ex-gay who is 48 years old and unmarried. At $10 a ticket this tour will sell out in South Carolina and everyone involved will benefit at the expense of gays and lesbians all over this country.
Once the election is over this poor decision made by Barack Obama and his camp will be long forgotten(if he loses) but the homophobic messages by McClurkin and other gospel singers is apart of their appeal and will live on. I long for the day when black gays and lesbians stop supporting their music and find the courage to walk out of churches that turn a house of prayer into a house of pain.
Read other posts on Donnie McClurkin:
A Letter to Donnie McClurkin
Donnie McClurkin Profile
A Letter To Mom
Earl Ofari Hutchinson On Obama & McClurkin