Barack Obama | Donnie McClurkin | News | South Carolina

McClurkin at Obama Event: "God Delivered Me from Homosexuality"

More details have emerged regarding Rev. Donnie McClurkin's appearance yesterday at Barack Obama's "Embrace the Change" Gospel Tour. Actually, McClurkin made more than an appearance. He emceed the event, the Washington Post notes. Andy Sidden, the openly gay minister whom Obama called in at the last minute to counter the furor over McClurkin, offered the event's opening prayer: "Sidden's prayer noted the importance of people of all races, backgrounds and sexual orientations coming together."

McclurkinIt sounds as though the only change Rev. Donnie McClurkin hoped folks would embrace, however, was the one he claims to have made from gay to straight, because it was on that note that the controversial singer went out.

Said McClurkin near the end of his appearance: "I'm going to say something that's going to get me in trouble...They accuse me of being anti-gay and a bigot. We don't believe in discrimination. We don't believe in hatred, and if you do you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's the whole premise of God. That's the whole premise of Christ is love, love, love. But there is a side of Christ that deals in judgment, and all sin is against God...Don't call me a bigot or anti-gay, when I have been touched by the same feelings. When I have suffered with the same feelings. Don't call me a homophobe, when I love everybody … Don't tell me that I stand up and I say vile words against the gay community because I don't. I don't speak against the homosexual. I tell you that God delivered me from homosexuality."

Calling the last hour of the concert "a revival meeting about the lightning rod he has become for the Obama campaign, the NY Times reports that "[McClurkin] then told the audience to believe the Bible over the blogs: 'God is the only way.' The crowd sang and clapped along in full support."

And via AmericaBlog comes this addendum from the Washington Post:

"...while the crowd left excited, it was clear the campaign still regarded the controversy as complicated. Aides gave reporters a three-page memo detailing McClurkin's and Obama's views on gay rights that noted in capital letters 'MCCLURKIN DOES NOT WANT TO CHANGE GAYS AND LESBIANS WHO ARE HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES AND HAS CRITICIZED CHURCH LEADERS WHO DEMONIZE HOMOSEXUALS,' with quotes detailing those statements from the singer. The next paragraph then stated 'OBAMA DOES NOT AGREE WITH MCCLURKIN'S VIEWS ON GAYS.'"

Gay Group Protests as Rev. Donnie McClurkin Takes Obama's Stage [tr]
Barack Obama Defends Gay Advocacy, Gospel Tour [tr]
Michael Signorile Interviews Obama's Gay Rev. Andy Sidden [tr]

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  1. holy fuck, whatever happened to separation of church and state? the founding fathers must be spinning in their graves. there's no place in the presidential race for any of this sick x-tian self-loathing full of guilt anti-life doubletalk bullshit. obama fucked up big time.

    Posted by: the queen | Oct 29, 2007 6:05:02 PM

  2. Not Voting For Obama. Period.

    Posted by: sam | Oct 29, 2007 6:05:20 PM

  3. holy fuck, whatever happened to separation of church and state? the founding fathers must be spinning in their graves. there's no place in the presidential race for any of this sick x-tian self-loathing full of guilt anti-life doubletalk bullshit. obama fucked up big time.

    Posted by: the queen | Oct 29, 2007 6:05:46 PM

  4. I have such mixed feelings about this whole episode. Leaving out how this affects the Obama campaign, I can't really fault McClurken if he doesn't want to be gay. If he sees Jesus as saving him from homosexuality so be it. Many of my friends see a high power as saving them from drug or alcohol addiction. But I know that being gay is NOT like being a drug addict or alcoholic. I want to respect his right to live his life the way he wants, I just don't want him to trumpet it in a church or the media.

    I do think this is yet another nail in the coffin of a poorly-managed campaign by a novice campaigner.

    Posted by: CONFUSED | Oct 29, 2007 6:08:55 PM

  5. This looks pretty bad for Obama. The ex-gay movement is widely seen as a nutty joke by both straights and gays.

    However, I actually think it's a pretty gutsy move for a conservative black preacher to come out as someone with same-sex desires, even if it is in the context of renouncing those desires for Jesus. Simply to create a space in which these emotions can be spoken of is, to a degree, liberating.

    Posted by: thin mint | Oct 29, 2007 6:13:52 PM

  6. self loathing is so ugly. i doubt the guy was being gutsy so much as he is naive or perhaps aware that he was scheduled to be outed. And how the fuck does Obama's camp reconcile the "Christ deals in judgement... all sin is against God" with "McClurkin does not want to change, etc..."?? And If Obama doesn't agree then why is he having him speak on his fucking behalf?

    Posted by: mike | Oct 29, 2007 6:24:09 PM

  7. Obama is DUNZO...Such a lapse in judgement proves he would not be a good choice for President.

    Posted by: Sam | Oct 29, 2007 6:34:49 PM

  8. All the people that buy McClurkin's music already knows this. This is only news to white people because McClurkin has talked about this in the past so when he states this in place he is not being gutsy or naive.

    And I don't think straight people that were going to vote for him are going to stop because of this show, it might even get him some more republican supports.

    Posted by: Mick | Oct 29, 2007 6:45:17 PM

  9. Obama has said he is "disturbed" by McClurkin's comments. Much good may that do him.

    Story here:

    Is there much chance of his angling for a VP spot under Hillary? That might still work.

    Posted by: thin mint | Oct 29, 2007 6:46:09 PM

  10. After his convention speech, I was very impressed with Obama. I thought , wow, there's a guy who should someday run for President. I was impressed. Then I started to see more of him when he got into the Senate. I started watching him more closely and my distrust grew. My gut warned me not to trust this man. I watched him on the campaign trail and just felt there was something very phony about Obama. The door was still open for getting my vote, although he was not number one on the list. But, this evangelical tour was the deal breaker for me. I know there are those who feel any Democrat trumps any Republican in office and that me be so. But I cannot in good conscience vote for this man. He appears to be a "wolf in sheep's clothing." No Obama, no way.

    Posted by: Bob R | Oct 29, 2007 6:53:44 PM

  11. Obama who?

    Posted by: beergoggles | Oct 29, 2007 7:13:05 PM

  12. Just awful. I really wanted to believe in Obama. Or somebody, dammit. But there's no way for me to get past this.

    I'm one of those who barely survived a tortured, self-hating adolescence trying to "pray the gay away." I'm still screwed up about it, and have never had the happy, healthy gay life I deserve. Instead, my life has been ripe with mental illness, suicide attempts and profound isolation--and nearly all of it can be laid directly at the door of people like Donnie McClurkin, who "lovingly" claim that being gay is sinful, that the shame we feel is correct, and that we can change if our faith is strong enough.

    The ex-gay movement kills. It is an invitation to mental illness, suicide, and destroyed lives. It takes the most vulnerable among us--those with knots of shame burning in our hearts--and adds fuel to that fire.

    Does Obama really not know that he's helping to *create* more men on the down low? That he's helping to create more Brokeback marriages, more destroyed families? That's what this message does when preached. It needs to be repudiated, not spread further during his campaign events.

    If he's happy having this message preached in his name, then he is my enemy, not my friend. Very sad.

    Posted by: adamblast | Oct 29, 2007 7:17:14 PM

  13. Go away Obama. Hill is going to crush you anyhow, this is a lost campaign already acting desparate for votes. I thought that he would be the 1st choice for V.P. Now I hope that Hill picks someone else. Way to stew up more anti-gay feeling in the south. Smooth move.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 29, 2007 7:24:17 PM

  14. One of his Ex's is talking, and it appears the "cure" didn't take.

    I particularly enjoyed reading about the good rev liking to yell out about getting his p@ssy f@cked

    Posted by: hypocrite says | Oct 29, 2007 7:36:22 PM

  15. Elizabeth Edwards at least knew how to smooth over her husband's discomfort with gay marriage by her kicking of the SF gay pride parade, and declaring her full support for us and gay marriage.

    As an anybody but Cheney in a smart pant suit/ Hillary, Edwards looks like the best progressive candidate outside of kucinich.

    Posted by: anybody but hillary | Oct 29, 2007 7:39:15 PM

  16. We hope you mean "MARY Cheney in a smart pant suit/Hillary" or else one can only assume you wrote this on your way home from school in "the special small yellow bus."

    After the last six years of the Bush Reich, it's hard for me to accept that there are those who luv hating Hillary or Edwards or Obama or fill-in-the-blank more than they care about change, but they, like cockroaches, will always be among us.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 29, 2007 7:45:15 PM

  17. Obama is truly a disgrace and another good reason why the gay community needs to watch its back with these Democratic contenders for President. The pandering to the religious vote is reminiscent of candidates in countries like Iran.

    Posted by: jim | Oct 29, 2007 7:55:02 PM

  18. You're all being used. The candidates want you to vote for them but they also don't want to offend the religious vote which votes according to "values". You're all being taken for a ride.

    Posted by: alan | Oct 29, 2007 7:59:52 PM

  19. Bless his tiny heart, he has been healed, now can we be healed and not have to see anything else about him? I still don't see the big deal, he is a Republican after all who sings the praises of Bush, and, obviously showed up because he was paid. If, the Obama camp is this out of touch then his fans and supporters should deal with it according by not voting for him, or taking it out on him. This is still much ado about little, since few of the outraged posters here were going to vote for him to begin with.

    And, the outraged while valid should be thrown at each and every canidate in each party who pander to this elment fro a vote, its not as if this Obama dude is the first, and he won't be the last.

    Posted by: Sebastain | Oct 29, 2007 8:02:10 PM

  20. leland

    1-Cheney thinks Iraq war the right thing to do, hillary still thinks Iraq was the right thing to do just bush mismanaged it.

    2- Cheney wants to invade Iran, hillary wants to invade Iran vis a vis her vote for Kyle Leiberman bill

    3-Cheney loves big business and lobbyists, Hillary said that she loved lobbyists at yearly kos and has raked in the most big biz money. Ruport Murdoch even had a fund raising party for her

    4-Cheney thinks Nafta, cafta, etc are all wonderful, hillary (Nafta and cafta under Bill) loves the outsorcing of american biz in 3rd world countries

    5- Cheney loves Big insurance, hillary was bought and paid for by big insurance as evidenced by her non universal health care plan which is a universal mandate that you MUST buy insurance from an insurance agency

    6- Cheney hates welfare for poor americans and loves it for big biz, Hillary as wife of Bill devastated welfare for poor americans and gave larger hand outs to big biz in corporate welfare

    Need I go on or are you to obsessed on your short bus ranting about reichen to notice that there is no difference between the 2

    Posted by: anybody but hillary | Oct 29, 2007 8:14:10 PM

  21. Clinton/Edwards '08!

    Posted by: Stenar | Oct 29, 2007 8:15:55 PM

  22. This is truly sad. What's scary is to people with this mindset McClurkin's ramblings seem reasonable and coherent. As we see here, even some gay people can be fooled into thinking his speech is somehow brave and admirable.

    I grew up in the Mormon church and I knew many men who claimed they had overcome homosexuality--they believed it so much they could probably pass a lie detector. And yet they were at the men's rooms in the parks or rest stops, they were picking up hitch hikers, they had some "pal" and they could make themselves believe that what they were doing had nothing to do with homosexuality. This whole idea of ex-gay just creates unhappy people--the men themselves, not to mention their wives and children. We should never, for a second,let ourselves believe that anything good comes from this.

    Posted by: Daniel | Oct 29, 2007 8:18:45 PM

  23. Hey, McLovin! Sing the gay away today? Just like in Broadway?

    Posted by: anon ( | Oct 29, 2007 8:19:43 PM

  24. What is not spoken here is the Luther Vandross syndrome...that this entertainer and his career DEPENDS on this misguided charade...that within the black community he would NOT make any money if all his crap came out of his closet.
    This man MUST say these things or his is done for.
    And unfortunately Obama has hitched his star to this "entertainer" who not only has called a war on homosexuality he has shilled for G.W. Bush and the GOP for years....or was that just a paying job as reading has me remembering that this "Right Rev" McHAGGARD was impressed with shrubs "values" and that was why he choose to accept money to perform at the GOP tell me how I'm supposed to be impressed with his credentials?
    This jihadist reverend flip flops as much as Mitt Romney.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Oct 29, 2007 8:20:58 PM

  25. Amen! Anyboby but Hillary! And, add Obama to that tag as well, since I can't see voting for either of them, kind of like the majority of voters next November.

    Kucinich or Edwards!!

    Posted by: Sebastian | Oct 29, 2007 8:22:20 PM

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