Ex-gay Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who said God delivered him from “the curse” of homosexuality, was scheduled to appear on a Saturday evening concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, but didn't, after several gay rights activists objected to his participation in the event.
Via Washington Post reports:
McClurkin was scheduled to perform in the D.C.-government-sponsored concert with other singers at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during the “Reflections on Peace: From Gandhi to King” event. But at the request of Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who fielded concerns from activists Friday, the Grammy-winning singer decided not to perform, according to the mayor’s office.
McClurkin disputed that account, saying he was “asked not to attend” the concert. In a lengthy video statement posted online Saturday, McClurkin said Gray “uninvited me from a concert
that I was supposed to headline.”
“There should be freedom of speech as long as it’s done in love,” McClurkin said in the video, adding that he believes it is unfortunate that in today’s world, “a black man, a black artist is uninvited from a civil rights movement depicting the love, the unity, the peace, the tolerance.”
In 2002, McClurkin wrote on a Christian Web site that he struggled with homosexuality after he was molested by male relatives when he was 8 and 13. “I’ve been through this and have experienced God’s power to change my lifestyle,” he wrote. “I am delivered and I know God can deliver others, too.”
Phil Pannell, a local gay rights activist and civil rights advocate, said he raised objections with the mayor’s office Friday because he thinks McClurkin’s comments on homosexuality have not been in the spirit of the “beloved community” about which King spoke.
“I take no joy that he is not performing,” Pannell said. “I really admire Donnie McClurkin’s artistry, but this is a situation where a political polemic obscured his artistry.”