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Gay Group Protests as Rev. Donnie McClurkin Takes Obama's Stage


About two dozen members of the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement held a protest outside the Township Auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina yesterday as "ex-gay" Reverend Donnie McClurkin took to the stage in an appearance that generated controversy last week after Obama refused to drop the singer from is three-day "Embrace the Change" gospel tour.

McclurkinThe AP reports that McClurkin told a welcoming crowd: "We're here. We're here and we're glad we're here."

They add, "Obama did not attend the event, but in a video played for more than 2,000 at the Township Auditorium he called the evening's acts 'inspirational talent' that were among his favorites."

Obama spoke to The Advocate in an interview late Friday in which he defended McClurkin's inclusion (which he attempted to counter earlier in the week by adding openly gay minister Andy Sidden to the tour) by arguing that homophobia in the black community is best conquered through faith outreach:

"Part of what I have done in my campaign and in my career is be willing to go to churches and talk to ministers and tell them exactly what I think. And go straight at some of these issues of homophobia that exist in the church in a way that no other candidate has done. I believe that’s important. We can try to pretend these issues don’t exist and then be surprised when a gay marriage amendment pops up and is surprisingly successful in a state. I think the better strategy is to take it head on and we’ve got to show up. These people of faith may be operating in part out of unfamiliarity, or they may be insular in terms of how they’re viewing LGBT issues, they may not understand how what they say may be hurtful, and the only way for us to be able to communicate that is to show up."


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  1. MCNNYC, last week you tried to say that the HRC was told after the fact and HAD NO input into the selection. Next you try to say that the HRC did have input, and made suggestions of gays of color. THEN you try to say that you don't understand why it's important that a black out gay address an audience of blacks in opposition to an ex-gay black man, in the first place. My point? Obama isn't the only one doing damage control. DON'T FALL FOR THE MEMORY HOLE TACTICS OF THE HRC. Did you really provide url links (besides the one I saw, which was a link to the HRC's press release of the day)?

    Jasmyne's a firebrand, and you may not agree with everything she writes, but it was HER fire, along with many other black voices, that pushed the HRC from patting themselves on the back for co-signing (yes, co-signing) Obama's invitation to Sidden while fuming that McClurkin was still in the show... to saying that they had nothing to do with the decision... to now saying, as you're claiming, that Obama went against their wishes. Check their own press releases, and the changes made in attitude.

    Jasmyne is right. The HRC is not trusthworthy. The HRC is most concerned about itself and its own image. Jasmyne also explains why it's important for blacks to hear from blacks, and why -- no matter how nice Pastor Sidden is -- black voices needed to be reached first. Hers is not the only one to have dealt with the HRC last week. But she puts a lot of people's thoughts about this, together nicely.
    "Make Me Wanna Holla and Throw Up Both My Hands" (Thursday October 25th): ...Obama’s campaign announces that he invited an openly gay minister to open the gospel concert. Initially I thought he’d gotten with someone in the Black same-gender loving community, ...(i)nstead we get Rev. Andy Sidden, a white South Carolina pastor. Then, just in case the knife wasn’t in deep enough Obama speaks with the Human Rights Campaign’s president Joe Solmonese about it. Where are the Black gay civil rights groups and am I the only one that sees this as problematic? It’s already been established that using white gay folks to explain to Blacks have the gay civil rights movement is the same as the 60’s Civil Right Movement doesn’t work. In fact, it’s an automatic turn off for most Blacks, including this Black lesbian. With a sensitive issue like this, it’s important that Blacks talk to Blacks. Our community needs to see us and hear from us and no one but us. And if we sit up here and allow this to go down, we have no one but ourselves to blame for our invisibility. It is personal however with HRC who knows better but can’t ever seem to pass up the chance to make the national news, no matter whose community gets dumped on in the process. But oh I forgot, we’ve come such a long way. In a statement, HRC thanked Obama for including Sidden but said that they were disappointed McClurkin will remain part of the program. Please note that they were not disappointed that an openly Black minister wasn’t chosen or that there Black gays were not a part of the conversation and that it was important for African-Americans to hear from their same-gender loving daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers. No, they were disappointed that McClurkin was still a part of the program. Geez, that’s mighty…oh never mind! So now I am wondering who or what constitutes as an ally? Is an ally an ally when it’s beneficial to them and them alone? Is an ally and ally when there are no media around? Is an ally an ally when they have millions in the bank and are still going after the same pots of money as their lesser-funded “people of color” counterparts? Tell me, are we allies then? Because an ally would have bowed out gracefully and encouraged, oh I don’t know, maybe an African-American gay civil rights organization to take the lead. And if that organization for whatever reason failed to step to the plate, instead of trying speaking for people that you know nothing about, could that ally at the very least taken the time to point out that an important part of the equation is missing…us. Organizations like HRC help to pave the way for decisions like having Rev. Sidden at an African-American gospel concert.

    Posted by: Nita | Oct 29, 2007 5:48:45 PM

    even black lesbian blogger didn't know that
    Sidden wasn't BLACK you yourself thought it was GREAT that including the REV Sidden was a good thing....and defending obama's inclusion as anothervoice and place at the table for dialogue....that there would be an imbalance of a opening "prayer" compared to the production number (and please can we also just say that the OBAMA CAMPAIGN PAID FOR THIS ENTERTAINMENT> THIS MCGERKIN WAS PAID TO SING ...THIS JIHADIST WAS PAID TO GIVE HIS POLITICAL HATE SPEECH to his "crowd"--YES THE REV IS ENGAGED IN (what he himself calls) A WAR AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY WHO HE CLAIMS IS KILLING OPUR CHILDREN! and you are going to HRC Bash?

    but then OMG he's WHITE...yes he's white and all od a sudden NITA says well THAT'S A DIFFERENT STORY...not lets see what he says...or perhaps lets keep our minds and hearts open ---NO NITA HAS A CHANGE OF HEART...against the umbrage of what she calls a white organization (HRC) again ignoring the reality and contributions of the people of color who work on staff of HRC THEN she is offened by the lack of color in the picture that Andy used to show the protesters....WHERE ARE THE BLACKS SHE SCREAMS!!!
    How PC of you!
    I can also site John Avarosis from America blog for facts and still she gives us one "firebrand"

    Time to let the OBAMA CAMPAIGN know by calling 866-675-2008

    SHOW ME THE INVITATION to include Sidden that HRC "signed"

    Neither YOU nor the black community own the Civil Rights Movement.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Oct 29, 2007 6:21:28 PM

  3. "that pushed the HRC from patting themselves on the back for co-signing (yes, co-signing) Obama's invitation to Sidden"

    How deep from you ass did you have to pull that from? It must STILL be warm?
    Jasmyne's routine as Head Dealer in the Race Card Casino may be getting increasingly worse as she's shed brain cells along with pounds in her narcissistic public dieting, she doesn't even claim that, rather: [emphasis mine], "Instead we get Rev. Andy Sidden, a white South Carolina pastor. THEN...Obama speaks with Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese about it."

    But maybe you know something Jazz Hands doesn't. What form did this alleged "co-signing" take? In ink on paper snail mailed or FedExed? A JOINT e-mail from Obama and HRC?

    I can quote countless posts from here and other sites documenting how much I hate HRC but I don't believe in indicting even them for things of which they aren't guilty.

    Your blogging heroine offers no proof that HRC understood Sidden was white when they thanked Obama for including SOMEBODY different than McClurkin in the show. It's just another excuse for her to bash a group identifed with The Man, The Evil White Man, The White Gay Racist Mafia, a part of the lynch mob tha, as she's riffed on repeatedly, unfairly went after her pal, poor, misunderstood Isaiah and poor, misunderstood dog lover Michael Vick. Again, as referenced above, BLACK lesbian blogger Pam Spaulding had to point blank ASK Sidden if he was Black.

    And, again, sorry to pull your and Jasmyne's twin heads out of your asses again, but while I agree a BLACK out gay minister would have been the best for the expected audience, the issue is, surprise, bigger than them or Ms. C or YOU. McClurkin's homo demonization hurts ALL gays. Oops, I forgot: since, according to you and Cuntnick, Blacks are more shat upon than gays then Black gays must be more shat upon than white gays.

    There you are; there you'll always be: at the front of the Victim line.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 29, 2007 6:24:07 PM

  4. Thank you for your post NITA, sometimes when I come on here and read some of the things that people post about the black community and black gays I think I'm on a different planet. But then I see people like you and know that some people that read this blog get it.


    Posted by: Mick | Oct 29, 2007 6:32:16 PM

  5. BUT let me continue from the souce I used above NITA:
    "We decided to go with someone local," says our source in the Obama campaign, who expressed concerns around finding a "local" gay pastor in Obama's own United Church of Christ. Yvette Flunder is a bishop in the United Church of Christ, so, this should have been a non-brainer. There were no such concerns around Hezekiah Walker and Donnie McClurkin who are in the Pentecostal Church.

    Your racist rant against HRC Offends the number of people of ALL colors that fight for civil Rights.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Oct 29, 2007 6:34:48 PM

  6. I usually agree with you Leland, but I think you're off this time.

    Posted by: Jason | Oct 29, 2007 6:38:59 PM

  7. NITA you better believe how amazing it indeed is when Leland shows an inch to HRC....
    I have to say I appreciate your comments on this subject lately Leland for I too have not usually seen eye to eye with you.

    And I'm sorry to be snarky here:
    NITA you mean some black civil rights organization like the NAACP whose president was such an enabler to MICHAEL VICK?

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Oct 29, 2007 6:40:40 PM

  8. Obama was a huge disappointment this week. I can no longer vote for him. He would never invite a racist to lead a rally for him and then try to explain it away by saying we need to communicate with the racists. Wrong is wrong, Obama. You don't give it the microphone at your fundraising event.

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Nov 4, 2007 12:11:39 AM

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