“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. We can only hope that Obama is unaware of McClurkin’s anti-gay history and will swiftly condemn such intolerance. Real leadership includes standing up to those who drive wedges between the American people.
McClurkin’s explanations for homosexuality are patently absurd, unscientific and have no basis in fact. He is a sad figure who is using his celebrity to demean and diminish the lives of healthy gay people who have chosen to live openly and honestly. I can’t imagine why the Obama campaign would choose to associate with a man who is so closely identified with hatred and discrimination.” – Wayne Besen, head of Truth Wins Out, an organization devoted to exposing the lies of the “ex-gay” movement.
Late yesterday, after Besen said the above, Barack Obama issued this statement on the McClurkin controversy: “I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of 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 of our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country. 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.”
Besen calls Obama’s statement “inadequate and disappointing.” I agree. There is no mention of removing the Grammy-winning “ex-gay” gospel singer from the Obama fundraiser tour. I don’t believe Obama is anti-gay, but letting our enemies raise funds for him speaks to a questionable ethic.