Obama had another long, ugly and sad day today. It was not a gay day.
The day started with denials and ended with confession.
Obama’s days will be sadder this coming weekend.
Late today Obama decided to concede that this weekend’s gospel tour in South Carolina is indeed a gay bashing tour. As we noted yesterday it is not one but all the top acts that have a homophobic history. Comparing gay people to murderers and prostitutes is not an act of love. Obama is trying to cover up this gay bashing tour for what it is because he knows it threatens the pro-gay rights youth vote which Obama has spent the entire year courting. Obama as usual is blaming the staff for not “vetting” Donnie McClurkin but ignores the statements by the other performers in his gay bashing tour.
An openly gay minister will open Barack Obama’s gospel concerts this weekend in South Carolina, two of his advisers told gay supporters on a conference call this afternoon.
Obama aide Steve Hildebrand, and a prominent gay adviser, Tobias Wolff, conceded that the campaign had failed to “vet” gospel singer Donnie McClurkin for his view that homosexuality is a “curse”, one person on the call said. But they said he would still perform at Obama’s concerts, which are aimed at tightening his bond to that state’s African-American community.
“They recognized that there was a mistake here,” the source said.
They also stressed Obama’s “unequivocal” commitment to gay rights, and defended McClurkin’s presence at the performance, he said.
“The perspective is that he can bring in different elements of the Democratic Party and American society,” the Obama supporter said.
Wolff and Hildebrand also asked supporters to contact the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay group, and press them not to publicly criticize Obama.
Young voters will not be deceived by Obama’s low down gay bashing tour. The gay community is not impressed with Obama’s excuses and inclusion of gay bashers in a tour promoting Obama’s candidacy:
Obama’s latest sleight of hand in “cure the gays”-gate is he’s now offering to have a gay preacher open his homophobic gospel tour where he’s going to be showcasing an outspoken homophobic bigot who thinks gays are trying to kill your children, who thinks being gay is a “curse,” and who thinks that gays need to be cured (the anti-gay activist is now denying that he ever used the word “cured” – whatever, the guy thinks we need to be fixed, can be fixed, it’s all the same thing).
Which brings up the question: Would Obama put a Klansman on stage so long as he brought a black minister or a rabbi up there too?
I’m just not getting the equivalence here: One bigot = one gay guy, and then everything is okay. How many gays balances one bigot, Senator? One, two, three, three-fifths? That’s just not the way it works in civil rights, Senator. You don’t get to be a bigot so long as you suck up to the gays too. You NEVER get to be a bigot, period. You never get to embrace bigotry, ever. It doesn’t matter many how many of your best friends are gay. It doesn’t matter how many gays you put on stage. You don’t ever get to showcase a renowned bigot to line your pockets and get you votes, ever.
Would you do this to any other minority, Senator? Would you let a klansman or a white supremacist, or a Holocaust denier, on stage so long as you invited a rabbi and a black minister too? I somehow doubt it. You’d do the right thing and kick the bigot out of your little show. But we’re quickly learning that doing the right thing isn’t part of the Obama vocabulary.
The usually timid mainline gay rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, is not buying Obama’s bull either:
“I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community’s disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to ‘break the curse of homosexuality.’ There is no gospel in Donnie McClurkin’s message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. That’s a message that certainly doesn’t belong on any Presidential candidate’s stage.”
The Human Rights Campaign also called on all presidential candidates to speak out on the issue of homophobia. Hillary has in South Carolina a good key contact leading her South Carolina campaign:
I asked about the views on same-sex marriage of Darrell Jackson, a key South Carolina Hillary backer, and a pastor.
A reader points out that he won some favor with gay rights types 2005, when he abstained from voting on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that passed the State Senate by 42-1.
He said on the Senate floor:
Now we know how we feel on this issue, and I’ve allowed my position to be known more than anybody else. I stand here as someone who is a pastor to a congregation of a whole lot of people, and I’ve said it to them and I’ll say it to anyone else. My personal moral position is what I believe and what I subscribe to. I don’t have to come here and try to legislate it, and I refuse to play politics with my moral positions because there’s no political gain to be gotten out of that.
Two of Clinton’s state co-chairs, John Matthews and Linda Short, voted for the bill, but it’s Jackson — whose “personal moral position” I’m sure not sure of, actually — who’s been her key liaison to the black church. For what it’s worth.
The Obama gay bashing tour is getting increased attention on blogs such as TPM. Instead of doing what is right the Obama campaign tried to pressure the Human Rights Campaign into silence. But the story is not going away and instead is growing into Big Media headlines:
The nation’s biggest gay rights group is trying to force Sen. Barrack Obama (D-Ill.) to cancel presidential campaign event with a controversial preacher who claims he was homosexual but has been cured.
The Human Rights Campaign has expressed its strong reservations to Obama over his campaign-sponsored tour that features gospel singer Donnie McClurkin.
The influential organization, representing a powerful Democratic constituency, let Obama’s campaign know that it would issue a public demand if Obama did not immediately cancel the event, said a person who had been briefed on the exchange.
Obama will not be present on the so-called Embrace the Change Tour, but public denouncement by the Human Rights Campaign could damage him in his quest for the White House.
McClurkin is notorious among gay rights activists for fighting what he calls the “curse of homosexuality,” for saying sexual orientation is a choice, and for claiming that homosexuality can be “cured” by prayer.
Obama has drawn intense fire from gay activists and liberal bloggers in recent days for recruiting McClurkin and other gospel singers for a statewide tour of South Carolina beginning this week.
By threatening to weigh in strongly, Human Rights Campaign has elevated what began as a controversy in the blogosphere into a full-fledged dilemma for Obama’s campaign.
Senior Obama aides had planned to hash the issue out Tuesday evening and discuss it in a conference call with gay supporters advising the campaign at noon Wednesday, said sources in contact with the campaign.
When gossip guy Perez Hilton is disgusted and writes about politics Obama should realize the story is not going away:
A count done late Tuesday morning found at least 17 political blogs that had sounded off on the flap, ranging from americablog.com, to dailykos.com, to perezhilton.com, a popular celebrity gossip site.
On Monday, Obama issued a statement in an effort to quell the growing uproar but stopped short of canceling the campaign-sponsored tour. [snip]
The statement failed to appease Aravosis, the founder of AMERICAblog, and other activists.
“That’s nice, senator,” he wrote. “You strongly disagree with the bigot who thinks I need to be cured, and who has declared ‘war’ on me and my people…”
One active member of the LGBT community who is supporting Obama said that his e-mail inbox has filled with complaints about the controversy.
“I think Barack Obama is between a rock and hard place and I imagine it will get worse not better over the next 48 hours,” said the supporter who declined to speak on the record because he had not made up his mind whether to criticize Obama publicly. “I never heard about [McClurkin] until 36 hours ago. Someone sent me an e-mail of a blog on the Huffington Post. God bless the Internet. Things spread like wildfire.”
On the demograpically challenged DailyKooks, a decent Big Blogger altered Obama’s excuse statement, and put it in the context of race:
“I have clearly stated my belief that African-Americans are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently spoken directly to Caucasian religious leaders about the need to overcome the racism that persists in some parts of our community so that we can confront African-American issues and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country.
I strongly believe that Caucasians and the African-American community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with David Duke’s views and will continue to fight for these rights as a progressive blogger to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.”
Nevertheless, David Duke is still on the schedule to sing at my Li’l Pumpkin Patch Halloween Party this weekend. I know it’s insane. I know it’s offensive to an entire class of Americans. But…have you ever heard him sing??? Angelic.
The “vetting” blame the staff excuse employed by the Obama campaign and supporters fell apart today when the Chicago Tribune noted that Obama met Donnie McClurkin at the Oprah fundraiser:
McClurkin and Obama first connected last month in California at an Oprah Winfrey fundraiser for the Illinois senator.
Where is Oprah?
In the Chicago Tribune article McClurkin denied his own history of gay bashing. AmericaBlog quickly demolished that argument:
Barack Obama’s good buddy, the religious right singer who thinks gays are out to kill your children and therefore need to be cured, now says that he’s never said anything at all about gays needing to be cured. Funny, then, that Donnie McClurkin let himself be profiled on the lead “gays can be cured” Web site, Exodus International.
What’s even more offensive than McClurkin trying to mislead the Chicago Trib about his past (and present) is the fact that Obama’s campaign clearly put him up to this interview with the Trib. Trust me, there is NO WAY this guy opened his mouth to the Chicago Trib about this matter without the Obama people setting the entire interview up, or at least approving of the entire thing. Obama is now trying to feed you misinformation about his top surrogates and their anti-gay campaigns. Nice, Senator. It was bad enough that you embraced an anti-gay bigot and put him on stage as your representative, but now you’re trying to polish his image in the media and lie about who he really is.
So I did a little more digging about just what Mr. Obama’s good buddy has had to say about gays, since Obama is now trying to tell us that McClurkin’s comments were all — ALL — taken out of context, per the Trib story. Here are a few quotes:
“there are many other things to be done to break the curse of homosexuality”Oh ok, so we don’t need to be cured, rather, our “curse” needs to be broken. Nice, Senator. Do you think being black is a curse? And how would if Hillary put someone on stage to raise money for her who thought that your race was a curse? Would you say that his words were being taken out of context?
“there are countless people who are discontent in this lifestyle and want to be freed from it. They were thrust into homosexuality by neglect, abuse and molestation.”
Oh, so we’re gay because we were sexually molested. Nice. You are aware, Senator, that this is one of the biggest slurs from the religious about gay people, and that it’s an absolute lie. How would you feel if one of Hillary’s people claimed that you are the way you are because you and all your people were sexually molested? I.e., you are the way you are because you’re seriously screwed up? Then there’s this:
“We do it with the drug addict! We do it with the alcoholic! So why can we not do it with those who have sexual differences?”
Gays have no character and are like liars:
“There are certain things like, you know, anybody who has a lying problem; they get to the point where they hate being so, having such a lack of character that they make a change.”
And then there’s my favorite “out of context” Donnie McClurkin quote:
“The gloves are off and if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose? I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.”
Yeah, um, that would be people like you and me who are trying to “kill our children.”
Yes, Senator Obama, McClurkin is the perfect representative for your campaign. He thinks gays are a curse, that we need to be fixed, and that we’re trying to “kill children.” And I’m sure you’d have nothing to say about this if he were saying the same thing about African-Americans and Hillary were promoting him.
Stop the spin, Senator, and do the right thing. You’re only making things worse.
Obama’s “new politics” is the old “wedge” politics – divide people and use hate to win.
Obama needs to turn the page on hate and gay bashing. Obama is making things worse.