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McClurkin hangs tough at Obama concert

[UPDATE: check out this coverage of the event. Rev. Sidden, the white gay pastor recruited to go before the crowd, didn't address the issue at hand: “Sidden's appearance was notably brief and anti-climactic: He said a short prayer to the auditorium at the very beginning of the program, when the arena was only about half full, and then he left.” McClurkin also dodged comment on the anti-gay statements he's made in the past, or allegations that he's not exactly “ex-gay” any more. Even worse, in a NYT article, Obama gave a video welcome at the concert, where he declared McClurkin one of his favorite singers and said nothing about homophobia in the religious black community. Way to go.] 

There were a couple of dozen gay and lesbians carrying rainbow flags in protest of the appearance of recloseted/decloseted, Grammy-winning anti-gay singer Donnie McClurkin on Sunday at a Barack Obama campaign-sponsored gospel concert in Columbia, South Carolina. The show went on and he was welcomed by the crowd with cheers. (AP):

“We're here,” Donnie McClurkin told a cheering crowd. “We're here and we're glad we're here.”

McClurkin, who has angered gay rights groups by saying homosexuality is a choice, told the crowd the musical acts were there “in the name of unity” and “in the name of change.”

…Obama did not attend the event, but in a video played for more than 2,000 at the Township Auditorium he called the evening's acts “inspirational talent” that were among his favorites.

The people in the crowd agreed with their feet, standing and waving and clapping hands to the blaring music, regularly joining in to sing.

Alvin McEwan of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters is based in Columbia, SC, and he has an on-scene report of the LGBT vigil.

A couple of hours ago, I took part in the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement's vigil that was held outside Columbia's Township Auditorium.

…I am pleased with what happened. We had a small but determined group who used dignity and order to get our message out. It is interesting as to the spin that may be put out by the anti-gay industry, as well as the media, about the controversy.

No matter how many times it was emphasized that none of us care about McClurkin's personal decisions regarding his orientation, folks have continued to claim that we are angry at McClurkin's belief that he is “ex-gay” rather than his statements against the lgbt community.

Despite all of the controversy over the last week about this, the problem at its core is that Alvin watched closeted black gay men file into this concert as a black woman hurled anti-gay comments at those participating in the vigil. More after the jump.Alvin:

The other ironic thing was that as she went on her tirade, I recognized a few of the faces going into the concert as those belonging to gay black men I knew.

As more attendees went in, I recognized quite a few more gay black men.

And let me tell you from the start that these men were not going into this concert looking to embrace McClurkin's message of being “delivered.”

These men probably went in, clapped loudly, danced in religious ecstacy . . .

and then went back home to their psychological closets.

…For every so-called religious statement coming from her mouth, I could hear closet door after closet door slamming shut.

I could see even more black gay men (many of them married) trolling down the streets in the darkness of the night looking for a physical fix because they have been bamboozled to think that a quick thrust in the dark is all they deserve as gay men.

Go read the rest. It's truly tragic that the closet door is not only shut, but padlocked because these same-gender-loving men — and the women who prefer not to know — are participating in encouraging the spread of HIV/AIDS through bible-beating and fear of rejection from the religious black community.

Related:

* The Advocate's exclusive interview with Barack Obama
* Mike Signorile interview with Rev. Andy Sidden; Team Obama rejected two gay black pastors
* Team Obama: recruiting a white pastor=bad idea
* 'Ex-gay' McClurkin's alleged lover: I was with him after he prayed away the gay
* HRC to Obama: no place for a homophobe on the stage in SC
* Black media ignores the Obama / anti-gay recloseted McClurkin controversy
* McClurkin bobs and weaves, Team Obama scrambles as HRC lowers the boom
* Why is Obama touring with 'ex-gay' homophobe Donnie McClurkin?
* Obama won't back down from SC concert with homobigot ex-gay Donnie McClurkin
* Donnie McClurkin isn't the only homophobe on the bill with Obama
* Audio from my appearance on the Michelangelo Signorile show on Sirius Out Q discussing the dustup.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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