Barack Obama's Ex-Gay Problem
by Dan Savage
Barack Obama is still planning to tour South Carolina with an ex-gay/anti-gay preacher. Donnie McClurkin performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004—shouldn’t that alone disqualify him?—and has condemned “the curse of homosexuality,” declared “war” on the gays, and insists that Jeebus can turn gay people straight. He’s a bigot, pure and simple, and like other ‘mos I’m appalled that Barack Obama would tour a state, any state, even South Carolina, with the likes of McClurkin.
Now I’m not rabid on gay issues—really. I wrote John Kerry a check in 2004 after he came out for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. (Which was after he came out against a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.) And I was willing to support Obama—for vice president, preferably on a Gore/Obama ticket—after he came out for civil unions but against full marriage equality for gays and lesbians. I’m gay and I’d like to be married but I understand that the gay marriage issue is a fraught one for Dems and that politics is all about incremental gains and that we shouldn’t sacrifice the good on the altar of the perfect and blah blah blah.
Obama called for the Justice Department to fire an official that made “offensive and erroneous comments” about racial minorities last week. This week Obama refused to boot McClurkin from his South Carolina tour over McClurkin’s “offensive and erroneous comments” about gays and lesbians.
“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 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.”
Excuse me, but what the fuck? If believing in the “respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens,” including gay and lesbian citizens, doesn’t preclude touring with a hate-monger bigot like McClurkin, what the fuck good is your support? How can the gay community “stand together” with assholes that have declared war on us? And I’m sorry, Barack, but if you choose to stand with McClurkin—if you give him a pass on his anti-gay bigotry—than your “belief” in our brotherhood isn’t worth a bucket of warm santorum.
This is too much. It’s one thing to reach out to conservative voters, which Obama has said he intends to do. It’s another to to stump with raving bigots like McClurkin. If Obama embraces people that judge others not by the content of their characters but by the contents of their rectums, well, Barack Obama isn’t not going to see any of my money or win my vote.
Way to go Dan! I could not have said it better myself. Hillary 08!