Supporters of the ex-gay community are speaking out against Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the Arts and Humanities Commission after Pastor Donnie McClurkin announced he was uninvited from performing at the "Reflections on Peace: from Gandhi to King" MLK Memorial concert on Saturday, Aug. 10, following complaints by pro-gay activists.
The Rev. Patrick J. Walker, president of Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia and Vicinity, and Christopher Doyle, the president and co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless (VoV), the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals and people who have unwanted same-sex attraction, see the city's actions as a violation of McClurkin's civil rights.
"Mayor Gray continually purports that he supports civil rights. What we've come to know, however, is that all civil rights in the faith community are not created equal," Walker said Tuesday in a statement shared with The Christian Post.
"This is an outright infringement of Pastor McClurkin's civil rights. How ironic is that? What kind of 'peace,' exactly, are we, in the nation's capital, reflecting?" he asked.
McClurkin, a Grammy Award winning gospel recording artist and the pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, N.Y., revealed that he was uninvited as the headliner for the concert after Gray heeded the demands of pro-gay activists who wanted him dropped from the event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. McClurkin has previously shared that he believes God delivered him from the "sin of homosexuality" and that people with unwanted same-sex attractions can change.
Walker, who's the senior pastor of The New Macedonia Baptist Church, said that he and other Washington, D.C.-area pastors contacted the mayor's office in an effort to include McClurkin in the event.
"Mayor Gray is the mayor for all of the people of the District of Columbia, not just the few who agree with him," Walker stated. "This was a demonstration of the mayor's insidious bullying tactics. [He] has systematically and deliberately done everything possible to strike at the fabric of the faith community – at least the sector of us who opposed his views."
Robert P. Marus, a spokesperson for the mayor, told The Christian Post on Monday that: "At the direction of the mayor, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities – which organized and sponsored the concert – asked McClurkin to withdraw. The mayor did not want McClurkin's previous highly controversial statements about homosexuality to become a distraction from an event focused on peace, love, justice and equal rights for all. McClurkin's management was informed of the decision well before the phone call with our chief of staff that McClurkin mentioned in his video statement."
Doyle, an outspoken supporter of the ex-gay community who has posted a petition in support of McClurkin on the VoV website, told CP that after learning about McClurkin's situation, he contacted the mayor's office and the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights in an effort to "try to get some understanding as to why this has happened."
I just think it's the height of intolerance," Doyle commented. "These activists demand tolerance the most and they afford it the least, and that's what I say in my petition. If this was truly about peace and harmony, activists would've gone out of their way to work with McClurkin and the ex-gay community — invited everyone in the spirit of peace and understanding, and unite for this event. But instead, they chose to make it another 'us vs. them' moment, in order to score points for political purposes."
A staunch believer that people are not born gay, Doyle said members of the LGBT movement are attaching themselves to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
"There's no tolerance of different views. And what they demand is complete fascism," Doyle said. "It's just unbelievable that an African-American, who Martin Luther King Jr. was primarily representing at the march, was uninvited from a memorial concert because of a group that is demanding tolerance on an issue that everybody knows is not an innate issue."
He continued, "They are not out for unity, peace and harmony. They are out for complete dominance of thought and viewpoint in America. It's discrimination, and it's just shameful that this is what we've come to in our country."
Doyle also told CP that according to the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights, members of the ex-gay community are protected under non-discrimination laws. And should any ex-gay citizen feel they've been discriminated against by the District of Columbia, they're able to file a complaint with the OHR.
"At this point, I've reached out to McClurkin, and it's going to be up to him to issue a complaint or file a lawsuit against D.C.," Doyle added. "I really hope he does, because if he does not, then this behavior will continue, and it's not going to get any better."