Obama Gospel Singer Says He's Not Homophobic

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Oct. 24, 2007 – Barack Obama, who has recruited gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to join his campaign swing through South Carolina, is being blasted by gay activists who say the musician is homophobic.

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Obama, realizing the power that gospel music has on Black folks in the South, is hoping that McClurkin and other gospel acts will help him reel in the Black evangelical vote.

South Carolina, where half of the Democratic primary voters are Black, is an early voting state.

McClurkin, a Black evangelical preacher and darling of the Bush administration, performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004. His comments suggesting that homosexuality is a sin from which people can be “cured” angered many gays, who say McClurkin claims to be a converted homosexual. However, the 47-year-old Grammy-winning musician, who says “sexuality is a matter of choice,” tells The Chicago Tribune that the media got it wrong when it reported he was anti-gay.

"I don't believe that even from a religious point of view that Jesus ever discriminated toward anyone, nor do I," McClurkin said in an exclusive interview with the Tribune. "Most of the things that were said were totally out of context and then other things weren't true.”

"My only concern is to be in place with Sen. Obama in unity and bring all the factors together for the sake of change," he said. "That's my only thing. Of course some agents have twisted it as though he [Obama] was embracing a racist or a Nazi, and that is anything but true."

Writes social commentator and master blogger Earl Ofari Hutchisom, “Obama has hitched his string to McClurkin's high-flying gay bash kite, in part out of religious belief (he purports to be somewhat of an evangelical), in bigger part because he's falling further and further behind Hillary Clinton with the Black vote in South Carolina and everywhere else, and in the biggest part of all because he hopes that what worked for Bush's reelection will work for him.”

Gay activist Jasmine Cannick says in a recent commentary, “I am surprised that given the number of high-profile openly gay men and women working on Obama’s campaign, that neither one of those choices set off a red flag for any of them.”

By the way Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) is running the anchor leg of her campaign; Obama can use all the help he can get. But that help, however, doesn’t look like it’ll be coming from the gay community.

Are gay activists correct in blasting Obama on this issue?  Click “Discuss Now” to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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