Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who back in 2002 declared God delivered him from “the curse homosexuality,” did not appear in a Saturday evening concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, after several gay activists objected to his participation in the event.
McClurkin was scheduled to perform at the D.C. government-sponsored concert with other singers at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during the “Reflections on Peace From Ghandi to King” event. But at the request of Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who fielded concerns from the activists Friday, the Grammy-winning singer decided not to perform.
“The commission on human rights and Donnie McClurkin’s management decided that it would be best for him to withdraw because the purpose of the event is to bring people together,” said Gray’s spokeswoman, Doxie McCoy. “Mayor Gray said the purpose of the event is to promote peace and harmony. That is what King was all about.”
However, in a statement released on video, McClurkin took issue with how the situation was portrayed. He said the mayor “uninvited me from a concert that I was supposed to headline.” He said “I was asked not to attend.”
If you remember, back 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."
Because of his anti-gay messages over the years, Phil Pannell, a local gay activist and civil rights advocate said he raised his objections with the mayor’s office on Friday. He released a statement following news of McClurkin's removal from the program:
“I take no joy that he is not performing. I really admire Donnie McClurkin’s artistry, but this is a situation where a political polemic obscured his artistry."
Donnie McClurkin released a video expressing his disappointment in the situation and claims discrimination.
via Washington Post