Obama Releases Letter from Gays and Blacks Supporting Gospel Tour


Stating that Barack Obama speaks “truth in love to both sides,” a group of black supporters made up of religious leaders and a group of LGBT some of whom are activists and former leaders at the Human Rights Campaign, this afternoon released a letter in support of Obama’s South Carolina gospel tour.

The letter is an attempt to quell outrage from the LGBT community at the inclusion of Reverend Donnie McClurkin, an “ex-gay” pastor and notorious homophobe who performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004, has vowed to battle “the curse of homosexuality,” and believes that gays can be turned straight with religious intervention.

Yesterday, Obama added openly gay Reverend Andy Sidden to the tour to counter the furor over McClurkin.

The letter released today reads, in part:

“A few things are clear. First, Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. This cannot and should not be denied. At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored. Finally, we believe that the only way for these two sides to find common ground is to do so together. Not at arms length. Not in a war of words with press and pundits. Only together. It is clear that Barack Obama is the only candidate who has made bringing these two often disparate groups together a goal. In gatherings of LGBT Americans and African Americans of faith, Obama has stated that all individuals should be afforded full civil rights regardless of their sexual orientation, and that homophobia must be eradicated in every corner of our nation. If we are to end homophobia and secure full civil rights for gay Americans, then we need an advocate within the Black community like Barack Obama. At the same time, while Obama has said that he ‘strongly disagrees’ with Pastor McClurkin’s comments, he will not exclude from his campaign the many Americans including many in the African American community who believe the same as Pastor McClurkin. We believe that Barack Obama is constructing a tent big enough for LGBT Americans who know that their sexual orientation is an innate and treasured part of their being, and for African American ministers and citizens who believe that their religion prevents them from fully embracing their gay brothers and sisters. And if we are to confront our shared challenges we have to join together, build on common ground, and engage in a civil dialogue even when we disagree.”

Read the full letter here.

Joint Letter from the African American Religious and LGBT Leadership Teams [barack obama campaign]

Obama Adds Openly Gay Minister to Counter McClurkin Furor [tr]
“Ex-Gay” Reverend McClurkin Speaks Out on Obama Controversy [tr]
Barack Obama Releases Statement on Reverend McClurkin [tr]
Barack Obama to Tour with Anti-Gay Gospel Singer [tr]


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    I actually thought this thing would blow over soon (before Iowa), but I’ll be damned if those idiots in the Obama campaign aren’t making it worse. It’s like festering, man.
    Hillary must be orgasmic by now.

  2. Mike says

    1st…the HRC is a useless organization – check out their press release on this issue at HRC’s website. 2nd…Obama can release all the pro-letters he wants, a majority of the community is outraged. 3rd…I want Obama to have a KKK member introduce the next black civil rights leader he has speak at one of his events. Since he’s trying to include all sides.

    Worthless git!

  3. says

    What a completely assinine statement!

    My grandmother believes that alll african americans are “niggers,” one evolutionary step above monkeys and one below whites. Living in Georgia, I am well aware that many people share her views. That doesn’t mean someone looking to be President should give her a platform to spew her bullshit.

    Thank God I already decided not to vote for Obama, he only proves how unfit he is for the job at every turn. He started out (on paper) and looked like a legitimate candidate, but as I suspected, the more I know about him, the less qualified he is (and not b/c he is black).

  4. Leland Frances says

    Didn’t the buy that “big tent” used from the Republicans?

    I’m surprised Isaiah Washington didn’t sign the letter. At least, then, I would have heard of one of the only 16 who did. As for their credentials; there are only about five people left on earth who haven’t been on one of HRC’s giant boards at one time or another. And why only “African American” signers? The homophobia within a specific race may affect the LGBT members of that race more, but they still affect all LGBTs of whatever race. The homohatred of one of the whitest white guys on earth, Fred Phelps, doesn’t hurt Black gays any less than it hurts white gays.

    IF Obama had proposed an ACTUAL, sit down “dialogue” with McClurkin et al., as they posit, I would applaud him. But this was NEVER presented as that until the bullshit hit the fan. It was the Donnie and Barack Show; live on our stage, singin’, shoutin’, and trying to scoop up Black votes from people who like McClurkin’s singing and either don’t mind his professional demonization of gays or also agree with it.

    Sadder by the day. Everybody duck because I hear another blistering barrage from Black lesbian minister and Obama iconoclast incoming.

  5. beergoggles says

    *****At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. *****

    What bullsh!t is this? A great many Af-Ams think gays are killing their children? Seriously?

    And homos from HRC actually put their names on this thing? Ok there’s little I can do about that since I stopped giving them money a while ago, but I can still call and bitch them out.

  6. David says

    You know when you get caught in a lie, so you keep lying and lying, making your story more and more complicated and convoluted so that pretty soon nothing makes sense anymore and everyone is just standing there watching to see what you’ll say next because you’re making a complete ass out our yourself and maybe if you had just shut up and told the truth in the first place you wouldn’t be knee deep in sh*t?

    Well, he just needs to stop. Desperate explanations do not a good leader make.

  7. beergoggles says

    Ugh, it’s such a total turnoff when men refer to their bunghole in the feminine. And I can’t help but laugh uncontrollably whenever any of my girlfriends slang it and say they got their kitty punched.

  8. says

    I agree… I had a delighted respect for Obama. But the “big tent” crap is the Republican way to include the brain damaged Log Cabin homosexuals in the Republican party.

    He’s just making it worse and worse. He shoulda tossed McCrackedUp when he had the chance…

    David B.

  9. Rob says

    Did anyone watch the View this morning? Andy, you need to find the clip of Whoopie defending Rev. McClurkin’s statement that being gay is a choice… Whoopie actually said that she agreed with him and didn’t see anything wrong about his statements! I thought Whoopie was on our side. I will never watch the View again as long as Whoopie is on that show.

  10. Paul Weidig says

    Obama’s adding gay preacher Andy Sidden to stand next to the pathologically homophobic Donnie McClurkin is like offering sugar as an antidote to poison. Obama has already lost it, and no amount of window dressing can disguise his original disastrous decision to welcome a monstrous bigot to his campaign. Go Hillary!

  11. mrpeenee says

    “We believe that Barack Obama is constructing a tent big enough….” Oh really? Well, I believe he is talking out both sides of his mouth. Weasel. A classic example of how appeasing all pleases none.

  12. Down with Obama says

    “I’m sure all of you guys are familiar with Donnie McClurkin, the famous evangelist and singer.
    Anyway, there’s all this drama buzzing because Barack Obama is having Mcclurkin perform on his “Campaign Like A Rock Star” tour. Gay rights groups are gagging, because Donnie is an “ex-gay”. If you aren’t familiar with the “ex-gays”, basically they are a group of people who believe that they have been delivered from the “sin” of homosexuality. It’s like jumping back IN the closet…and leaving a doorstop so you can sneak out at night. And hanging up pictures of Patti Labelle and Frenchie Davis in the closet. It’s just like that.

    Now, despite all that, I wasn’t feeling the backlash at first. I thought, hey, Barack has made his views on homosexuality pretty clear and he’s called for the Black community to address their issues with homophobia. It seemed like a wise political move: Black people may not vote, but we sho’ do lubs hatemongers and Gospel music! Thus, getting some of our fave singers involved may inspire us to go to the polls and think Barack. Why not?

    But after having a long talk with Sir Fab and doing a little research, I changed my mind. McClurkin is spreading a very foolish message and it would not be right for any intelligent person to align themself with the likes of him. You can’t cure “The Gay”, try as you might. You can ignore your nature and lead a life of denial. You can even open a church and say you are cured, all the while loving and licking on the low. But you can’t cure it because it’s not a disease. And if you are running for president of something bigger than the local chapter of the NAACP, you may not want to align yourself with something so absurd.

    I understand that Barack needs the Black vote, but he shouldn’t chase it at the expense of reason. Donnie Mclurkin is an idiot. He has publicly supported President Bush because….wait for it….idiot on aisle ten….weapon of mass idiocy right here…”There is a moral aspect that was overwhelmingly a part of Bush’s appeal”.

    While I am not necessarily an Obama supporter yet (I like Kucinich the best, actually), I hate to see him make such a mistake. Mr. Obama, hear my cries! Ditch Donnie! And if you don’t do it because he’s a hate monger, do it because he is an idiot.”


  13. Nita says

    Dan B, if your grandmother’s views aren’t challenged, then how can your grandmother grow? Do you all just sit around and let her talk, so she thinks (probably rightly) that more of you agree with her than not?

    Leland, many people feel Isaiah Washington was the victim of a witchhunt. He didn’t help himself later, but when a man is damned for using the word ‘faggot’ twice, but investigation reveals that the second time he said it was in denying he said it….. that doesn’t look right. Condemn him for denying he said it, but don’t condemn him for using the word twice. It made gays look like they were out for a scapegoat, any scapegoat; it didn’t help that they were lynching a man whose previous interactions with the gay community were helpful, and on the side of presenting gay as a part of life. The fact that it was white gays most visible behind the push against a lone black man, and race began to drift into the picture as well.

    SteveO, then what does that say about the rest of the Democratic field?

    JMG, you were never going to give Obama your vote in the first place.

    SFShawn, San Francisco (specifically its gay clubs) needs to clean up its image of being racist against gays of color, and anti-lesbian. Some Obama signs disappeared? Tell us, what were they replaced with?

    David B, ‘big tent’ means that there is more than one viewpoint, and more than one issue at hand. Democrats are supposed to be a party which many disparate viewpoints, if any party should be a natural for the ‘big tent’, it should be Democrats. So why are gays suddenly wanting to close the tent flaps without any attempt at outreach across the aisle?

  14. Nita says

    John In Manhattan, you do realize that for a sizeable portion of this country the United States, ‘Ku Klux Klan’ could be replaced with ‘gays and lesbians’ — don’t you? Gays talk about how much they have to fear from hate crimes, well, why are there hate crimes? because people don’t want to hear you and think that your message is offensive and contrary to their way of life, and they have little to no positive interaction with gays where gays are ‘just people’ and not tokens. Well, if gays aren’t invited to sit down at the table in that situation, if they’re not invited into the ‘big tent’, then how is anyone already within that tent going to learn any differently?

    Too many of you all are missing the forest for the leaves falling from the trees.

    Beergoogles, thank you for the link. It’s important to note that a) McClurkin has always been open about his ‘struggle’ with lust and homosexuality, that is the illness for which he is searching a cure. He struggles because the ‘lust’ is always there, but so is God; b) many people, again, think he confuses abstinence with heterosexuality; and c) his childhood experiences, in my opinion, can not be discredited and dismissed. Christianity teaches forgiveness, and that no human being is perfect; so it’s not that much of a stretch to assume that McClurkin’s god ‘forgives’ the sinner who is truly repentent for having a relapse.

    I was over at DailyKos this afternoon, and they’re all over McClurkin, but they insist it’s because he teaches that gayness is a condition which can be cured, a teaching which the DKos gays referred to as “reparative therapy”. My own thought is, one can choose to be any orientation one wants to be, and there are situations where changing one’s orientation allows you to survive (as in serving a 40 year stint in jail for heteros; or having heterosexual sex in marriage for homos), if not happy; but there will be a predominant orientation that one gravitates to all the same. McClurkin needs prayers, and understanding to come out to be whomever he really is. His Jesus will be there for him.

    Mike, he was never your candidate to begin with. Put the drama queen crown down.

    Now, for all of you who have cut Obama off, where do all of us go from us? What will you do? Whom will you go for (and why)? What have you learned, and what will be the personal result for you this election cycle?

  15. Nita says

    DownWithObama, this phrase — “There is a moral aspect that was overwhelmingly a part of Bush’s appeal” — is the absolute truth. My mother hasn’t voted for any of the Bushes, but she told me flat out that George Bush seemed sincere when he spoke about issues of the heart and faith. That sincerity means something. The quip ‘who would you rather have a beer with?’ may sound silly, and foolish, but it works. It’s real. Morals are not a bad thing. Don’t homosexuals draw the line at pederasty.. most of the time? (that’s not a jibe, as much as it’s me having heard gay men talk about sexual fantasies involving same sex partners at ages — usually for themselves with an older person — which cause an investigation of their straight counterparts. I always assumed it was a gay thing to be frank about that type of sex. Then again, a fantasy is not reality. Or maybe I just need to listen to different types of gays). Well, why would gays draw the line at pederasty?

    Morals and ethics. Right? Well, back to Bush, Bush gave off an aura of having a unshakeable stand that he would not budge from no matter what the pols or special interests said, and that stand was supposed to be rooted in his deep faith in rediscovering Christ. The Democrats did not have that special oomph, of carrying an unshakeable backbone, or living by a set of morals and ethics. Democrats couldn’t agree on anything. Democrats were a house divided; a pot around which crowded too many cooks. Democrats made the mistake of waving off the appeal of a backbone, of being able to really say ‘no’, to really say ‘yes’. Democrats, in my opinion, had no choice in appearing that way. All that to say, don’t pretend a method didn’t work, just because it worked against you.

  16. Sebastian says

    The intolerance of some here is as bad as the so called Christians, yikes.

    The only way to combat hate and intolerance is via education, not spewing the same trash.

  17. MCnNYC says

    Again NITA with her “opinion” that orientation is a choice joke…that may be your opinion much like some can hold the “opinion” that blacks are just not as intelligent as whites…and can hold up anecdotal stories much like your prison gay stories…look prison sex is not a change in orientation….THAT IS A FACT…prisoners are just looking to get off or exert power.
    So NITA do pedophiles change their orientation when they molest a girl one month and a boy the next?

    And finally defending BUSH on MORALS!!
    is IGNORANT being stubbornly IGNORANT and refusing to listen or accept either another view or even reality is not a strong moral compass. And you set up a stupid comparrison of one man (BUSH) with all DEMORATS cause then David Dukes is a moral and pricipaled man compared with the Congressional Black Caucus.

  18. Derrick from Philly says

    JMG, aw, please, you just haven’t had anyone as eloquent as NITA “read” you, and your beliefs lately,… not since GBM. Andy has made us ALL welcomed on HIS blog. OK?

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