t1homemcclurkingi.jpgWASHINGTON (AP) — A gay rights group on Monday urged Barack Obama to cut ties with a gospel singer who it says spreads false information about homosexuality being a choice. Donnie McClurkin is among several gospel singers scheduled to raise money for the Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate at a concert in South Carolina this weekend. McClurkin has drawn attention from gay rights activists for his views on homosexuality.

“I don’t believe that it is the intention of God,” McClurkin said Monday in a telephone interview. “Sexuality, everything is a matter of choice.” McClurkin said he does not believe in discriminating against homosexuals. “What people do in their bedrooms and who they are as human beings are two different things,” he said. In a statement, Obama said he believes gays and lesbians are “our brothers and sisters” and should be afforded the same respect, dignity and rights granted all other citizens.

“I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country,” Obama said. “I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin’s views and will continue to fight for these rights as president of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.” The statement did not say whether McClurkin will still perform on the tour.

“We strongly urge Obama to part ways with this divisive preacher who is clearly singing a different tune than the stated message of the campaign,” Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said in a statement. At a forum on gay issues in August, Obama argued that civil unions for same-sex couples wouldn’t be a “lesser thing” than marriage. Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, which supports gay marriage, but Obama has yet to go that far.

In a telephone interview Monday, Besen said he admired Obama, but wasn’t ready to endorse him, especially considering McClurkin taking part in the campaign’s “Embrace the Change” concert tour. “I think he’d be a great president. But I think it’s going to drive away support from people who are on the fence such as myself,” Besen said.

McClurkin is a Grammy Award winner who performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He told AP Radio in an interview that September that he was “once involved with those desires and those thoughts,” which he attributed to being raped at 8 and 13. “That’s what thrust me into it, and then God delivered me from that and gave me back who I really am and my true purpose,” McClurkin said.

Source: CNN

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  • stan

    There has not been a peep from the gay community on Hillary’s endorsement by anti-gay black ministers. This is a terrible double standard. Hillary never has had the guts to say the word “gay” in any speech she ever gave to a broad audience; she saves it for fundraisers to gay civil rights group. In Obama’s first speech to a national audience, when no one would have demanded that he address the point, he did anyway on his own, because that’s where his heart is. He famously said, “We have gay friends in the Red states,” trying to get everyone to see the humanity in others.
    When we start judging candidates by the personal views of people who just get up on stage on sing for them, we’ve really lost our way

  • Emmy

    I agree with Stan…Hillary been endorsed by Rev. Harold Mayberry, who’s “preached against homosexuality.” And the Gay Community is quiet about that and now they are jumping in on Obama…can someone explain to me the reasoning behind gay community kissing up to the Clintons regardless all their antigay policies but Obama is their for them to bash…please stop the double standard

  • It’s crazy that other groups can tell you what to do when you haven’t asked for their imput. Obama is a grown man that knows what he believes in and where he stands. If he wants to have some sort of tie to McClurkin than that is his right. McClurkin is a respected singer in the Christian circle who speaks what he feels.
    Funny how we (Americans) are suppose to respect certain groups feelings and rights when some of them obviously don’t reciprocate the same respect.