Late last week, Democratic hopeful Barack Obama was under fire for inviting ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to perform on this weekend’s South Carolina tour. Now McClurkin himself is facing accusations that he is still practicing the homosexuality he condemns.
In an attempt to woo black evangelical voters, Obama announced last week that McClurkin would be among several gospel artists joining him on the tour, which starts in Charleston this weekend. McClurkin’s inclusion drew immediate criticism, with dissenters angry about the singer’s history of anti-gay remarks. He denies being on a “crusade” against homosexuality, and maintains he only offers help to “those who come to me and ask for change.” However, he hasn’t always been so temperate, as his comments about the “homosexual agenda” from 2003 demonstrate:
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. … I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.
Obama has resisted removing the singer from the campaign, but now says he will balance the program by inviting local gay minister Reverend Andy Sidden to deliver an invocation.
But the furore is far from over. Now allegations are rife that McClurkin is still involved in the gay “lifestyle” he has virulently rallied against. In an interview with New York journalist Clay Cane, an unidentified man claimed to have been Donnie McClurkin’s lover during the peak of his vocal opposition to gays. It was during this era that the singer wrote that the “abnormal use of my sexuality continued until I came to realize that I was broken and that homosexuality was not God’s intention,” and claimed, “I’ve … experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle. I am delivered and I know God can deliver others, too.
Nevertheless, McClurkin’s accuser, named only as “Rob,” yesterday disclosed extraordinary details about the alleged sexual encounters, which he says took place mostly in hotels, between 2001 and 2004.
Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out has already publicly invited McClurkin to put things right, saying:
If the allegations are true, McClurkin should cancel his appearance at the Obama rally and learn to be true to himself. … We offer a helping hand to assist him in the coming out process. Truth Wins Out understands that the notion of ‘ex-gay’ is a myth and McClurkin will be conflicted until he lives honestly and openly.
Alan Chambers of Exodus International responded here to calls for Barack Obama to remove McClurkin from his tour, saying that “No individual should be excluded from participating in a political process that belongs to all Americans.” Exodus has yet to comment on the most recent allegations about McClurkin’s conduct.