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Pastor Donnie McClurkin says that it was wrong of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington organizers to remove him from the lineup of a concert last weekend celebrating the anniversary. The Long Island, N.Y. based pastor made national news when he was asked by  Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s office to leave the show.

The Mayor’s office issued a statement that read: “The Arts and Humanities Commission 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 Doxie McCoy, a  Gray spokesman. “Mayor Gray said the purpose of the event is to promote peace and harmony. That is what King was all about.” McClurkin disputed that account in a video saying he was “uninvited” to the show.

Pressure from a local gay rights activist was behind the decision, based on a statement McClurkin made on a Christian website in 2002, when he said he’d been “delivered” from homosexuality. The organizer of the concert, billed as the “Reflections on Peace: From Gandhi to King” says that he would have preferred to see McClurkin remain on the bill. “The fight for human rights is a global fight that has to bring us together,” organizer Nolan Williams told “The Washington Post.”  “That has to bring us together whenever there are differences of opinions or differences in views. We still need to find a place to come together even when we don’t agree.”

McClurkin appeared on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” with Roland Martin to discuss the turn of events. Here’s what he had to say.

ROLAND MARTIN:  The mayor’s office said that you voluntarily withdrew from this concert because you didn’t want this to overshadow the event.  Is that actually the case?

 DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  That couldn’t be furthest from the truth.  That is absolutely untrue.  I never had a conversation with the mayor’s office until they released the statement that I had mutually withdrawn.

ROLAND MARTIN:  Yeah, what happened?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  To this day all I knew is that I was on my way to the airport, going to the event, and they called me as I getting out of the car telling me that I was uninvited and that the mayor had taken me off the concert because of one man who came to him and gave, and protested.  And then that’s how the whole maelstrom happened.

 Later on, about 15, 20 minutes later, we heard from the mayor’s office and Chris Murphy gave us a long spiel about how devastating this was but it was for the good of the event, and asked me to withdraw, and if I didn’t there would be a whole lot of judging of past things I don’t, and I wouldn’t want to put myself in.  And that’s how that happened.  I had nothing to do with this except for on my way to the airport to go to the concert.

TOM JOYNER:  Do you know the person who complained?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  Uh, I think they said his name was Phil Tenel. (According to “The Washington Post,” D.C. gay rights activist Phil Pannell is the individual who objected.) 

TOM JOYNER:  Have you had problems with this person before?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  I have never met him.

 ROLAND MARTIN:  The city, you know, you were very explicit in telling Murphy that do not tell people that I withdrew because that is absolutely not the case.

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  That’s true. They were telling me that they did this for the benefit of, you know, a peaceful event that it would be better for all of us.  And I told them that I don’t appreciate that because that’s not the truth.  And for them to go and put that out even before speaking with anybody. That was my problem with him. And I told him point blankly my problem is that y’all had made it seem as though I’ve withdrawn.  And to this day I’m on my way to the event. I haven’t withdrawn. I haven’t even spoken about this. And I’m headed there. And he was saying that it’s not beneficial for me to head there. He told my manager that if I came I would be escorted off the premises.

ROLAND MARTIN:  So they made clear you were not wanted.  They were rescinding this invitation and they said, well, he’s still going to be paid for, based upon the contract.  But they made it clear that if you showed up that they were going to, you were not going to take that stage.

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  Yeah, and concerning compensation, they haven’t paid me a single penny.


TOM JOYNER:  Not even a deposit?


ROLAND MARTIN:  Now yesterday, they released a statement in an interview saying that you have been paid, or were going to be paid every cent.  You are saying that has not happened.

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  That hasn’t happened, and it wasn’t communicated to us by the mayor’s office at all.

ROLAND MARTIN:  Do you believe it’s fair, Donnie?  I mean the comments that gays and lesbians are upset about you made more than a decade ago about formerly being gay, talking about it as being a sin.  You made those comments more than a decade ago.  Is it fair for an activist to, you know, a decade later to say, oh, because he made those comments in that period he shouldn’t do something today here in 2013?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  Well, it’s not fair, and it’s been an ongoing battle. It’s been an ongoing political battle.  But in fairness we’re talking about a peace rally.  And we’re talking about a group of people who have been lobbying for a long time for equality and tolerance.  But now to have none concerning anybody else who said anything that is against, or not through their agenda.  I don’t have a problem. 

 You can’t call me a homophobic if I’ve been a homosexual. That’s quite a stretch.  But for them to think that it’s fair, or okay, or tolerant, to uninvite someone simply because they have opposing views, but have never said anything derogatory about them, just simply gave my testimony about what happened with myself.

TOM JOYNER:  Would you give that testimony again, Donnie?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  Would I give it again?

TOM JOYNER:  Yeah, right now.

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  My thing was from the time I was eight years old and raped three times by my uncle in one night, a prepubescent boy who doesn’t have any barriers or bustles; this was something that was instilled in me. And growing up it grew up in me.  And, you know, broken family, broken home, broken psyche. You’re looking for attention. And I felt like I wasn’t adequate. And the only ones that really paid attention to me were men.  And that’s how I grew into this. 

 Thirteen years old, molested in a car in church by my same uncle’s son. And this started a pathology. It started a situation. And growing up in the church, it was in the church, hidden.  And it was like people, like an animal smelling dead meat.  They gravitated to me at a young age.  That’s how this whole process started. But my conviction biblically, and spiritually, let me know that this was not for me.  This was not the lifestyle for me.  And consequently, through a series of prayer, people are like praying the gay away, it wasn’t praying the gay away, it was finding out who I really am. 

 Finding out who God made me to be. And then agreeing with God even if it was a fight inside of me. And that’s how this whole thing happened. So through a couple of, well not, several years, of homosexual behavior and activity, finally coming to the point, in the church – now mind this, I was always in the church – that’s another story altogether. But I finally came to realize that this is not who God wants me to be.  And then allowing God to show me who I am, make me who I am, and thus that’s who I am now. That’s all I’ve ever testified.

 ROLAND MARTIN:  Donnie, has the mayor of D.C., Vincent Gray, reached out to you, talked to you?  Or has it been his aides around him?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  It’s simply been Chris Murphy.

 ROLAND MARTIN:  Do you believe the mayor of D.C., owes you an apology for disinviting you to this concert?

DONNIE MCCLURKIN:  I believe that he owes the City of D.C., an apology. He’s done a disservice to the faith based community. And I can take the blow, but he needs to be more concerned about his constituency.  And to do something like this at a Martin Luther King peace rally is totally against what Martin Luther King stood for.

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32 thoughts on “Donnie McClurkin: ‘You Can’t Call Me Homophobic if I’ve Been in Homosexuality’

  1. victoria rennie on said:

    That is what the gospel is all about. That’s the cross we have to carry. Don’t let anything take you back. That life is behind you dearest brother. Love you with the love of christ.

  2. Felice on said:

    God can do all things there are those who would call deliverance brain washing. The fact is Satan and the fallen have had their hooks in humanity for a longtime. When you choose salvation all things are past away and made new. Those who reject God will unfortunately will have to find out the hard way what the consequences are. Whether they choose to believe it or not.

  3. Donnie McClurkin has a right as a child victim of sexual assault to draw on his faith for healing, just as other members of the LGBT community have their own stories to disclose or not, to live or not according to who they are. Other members stories may be different from Donnie’s. Many say this is by birth and not by choice. Okay. Donnie says he was healed and delivered. Okay. Donnie is not your enemy, it is his testimony that is causing a stir, but you can’t take someone’s testimony. Even if you silence them, their testimony stands. There are people who poked fun at Tammy Faye, but what I gathered she had genuine love and respect for the LGBT community. I hope I did not get that twisted, because I desire genuine love to be manifested in my life and I embrace that mantle that flowed from Martin, Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.


    • Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

    • RosEtta on said:

      That is a lie my friend. The word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever. If you are a Christian then that means you need to pay attention to the entire bible, and the Old Testament clearly tells you that if you lay with a man as you do a woman (as a man) is an abomination. Point blank period. If you want to say that Jesus never spoke against homosexuality as your defense I would say this: he never spoke against pedophilia specifically either. Would that then mean that a pedophile can do what he likes to children? Now mind you, I didn’t say those are the same sin, they are different but Jesus did not speak specifically to a lot of sins: incest, pedophilia, necrophilia, etc….. things that you would have no problem calling wrong. So you can’t make the case that him not mentioning homos by name must mean that he is ok with the activity. God does love all people but he abhors sin and things that he has already clearly defined as against His will. His word is alive and God is the same yesterday as he is today. If he called it wrong before, it’s still wrong now. All your views are are rationalizations to make evil ok and it’s NOT OK.

  5. I don’t understand why some people are taking issue with Donnie saying he is no longer gay. He’s just one person among millions on this earth. Everyone’s experience is different. Some people are molested as children, and move on with life as in (not becoming gay). Other may feel as thought they are gay because of the molestation. I know this will be a controversial comment; but I think most people that are gay, or born gay. I think it’s a hormonal issue. Some men are born with more female hormones, and some females born with more male hormones. I assume people know that men, and women are born with both hormones. It’s the dominate hormone factor that decides.

    • Lola Capolla on said:

      What you’re saying makes no sense, I hope you understand that. Gay men and male-attracted women do share something in common, the way our brains light up when we see men that we find attractive. Someone who is born male, but has more “female hormones” is more often than not transgender or transsexual. The same would go if the situation and genders were switched.

    • Realtalk777 on said:

      I don’t know if Donnie is back in the closet or truly repented, that’s between him and God. It’s funny how the LGBT community can’t stand for others to have different views than them, then quickly judge. Look in the mirror first and you won’t have time to look at others. He without sin cast the first STONE. ……..all you hear is crickets…

  6. Ruth O'hara on said:

    What people here don’t seem to understand is that each person processes his or her pain in different ways. For example a child/person that has been raped may act out their pain by: becoming violent verbally or physically toward others, displaying a hatred for authority/men/women/children in any number of ways, substance abuse to try to dull the pain and forget for a few minutes, become a violator themselves, or even put themselves in a position where they are repeatedly re-violated in a vain attempt to ‘control’ the situation. Many however get the love, attention, and help they need and live ‘normal’ lives. So, no, not ALL victims of childhood rape go on to lead homosexual lives, but many do. If others decide to try another lifestyle instead, I don’t see why they should be criticized for their choice. Isn’t that the very thing that the LGBT community is fighting against?

  7. Ruth O'hara on said:

    Mr. McClurkin, I am sooo sorry that you were a victim of sexual predators/rape at such a young age (8) and then at such a critical age (13). So sorry. Despite all the negative feedback, there are people who care about and empathize with others who were violated, especially in their childhood. I can’t believe people are villianizing the VICTIM!! Even if one disagreed with his words, can’t they understand that Donnie has spent a lifetime trying to ‘process’ what happened to him. That’s a trial and error process! I guess I don’t understand why people are being so hateful, judgmental and intolerant of him now that they know that he was a victim of RAPE!!! Where’s the empathy? Can’t we agree to disagree and be civil?

    • Ruth

      it’s nice to have sympathy for Donnie; however, there are a lot of boys, girls, men, and women who need your sympathy who don’t have the support system Donnie has nor the resources are you out assisting or trying to assist them? Empathy is the ability to relate and many can’t relate to what it feels like to be molested, because many haven’t had the violation. However Donnie’s having sex with men was a choice when he was grown or over the age of 21. To blame being molested for every decision he made sexually afterwards is a copout and not taking responsibility. Many are blaming their childhood for not making healthy choices now are you giving them a pass as well. Those in prison, addicted, and acting out sexually, because there’s things in there past that contributed to there decisions and choices.

  8. Donnie everyone hasn’t been molested like you, and there are plenty of heterosexual men who have been molested and not gay so don’t use that as your excuse. You had dicks up your ass because that’s what you like, and not because you were molested. I work as a counselor/social worker and many boys who have been molested are not gay. Donnie man up and be who you are. You still aren’t married so what God delivered you to be single. Lets Get Real the Truth shall set you free Donnie

    • Nicole on said:

      Robert you need to find another line of work because clearly you lack understanding and sensitivity to be of help to anyone especially children of rape and molestation.You must be a violator.

    • RosEtta on said:

      So just because every molested boy does not turn gay means that no molested boy can turn gay? I know that not every gay man was not made that way through molestation but that is not to say that some are. That type of trauma at a young age can confuse a person and retard their natural desires. What he bravely described has happened, I’ve seen it. Don’t discount his experience simply because you can’t quantify it or have not seen it personally. Just say I did not know it could happen that way if you don’t know.

  9. Double standard Tom, Sybil, Jay, and Roland can go sit their tired ass down. It’s always the unattractive blacks that have more to say than anyone, because that low self-esteem. When T.D Jake’s son had his dick out in the park propositioning a police officer there were no jokes from the peanut gallery, but when Wanda Sykes and others come out it’s laugh time. Please I believe blacks need to start boycotting Tom’s show just like whites do for their ignorant white folk. Black LGBT folk need to start shutting our homophobic media down as well or costing them a lot of money and I have been thinking about this and starting the boycott myself. Be careful Tom……..

  10. Dear Donnie McClurkin, Your freedom of speech has not been violated. You are free to say anything you wish, to anyone you wish. However, nobody is required by the freedom of speech to provide you with a microphone or stage. go seat your want too be on the mother board azz down!

  11. Dear Tom Joyner Show, I’m very disappointed in your reporting of the Donnie McClurkin DC story. You let him tell a story that was very one sided and self-serving without challenging him at all about the very demeaning ways he has referred to LGBT people. You said it had been 10 years ago that he had made these remarks but I found things from just a few years ago and he never said he had changed his stance on any of them. If I could find these remarks I’m sure your staff could have done a much better job. Was the point of your reporting to say that the LGBT community has no right to say that they don’t want a person who believes they are not worthy of God’s love just the way they are to sing to them at a rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of the time when black folk came together to cash the check of equality owed to us by America? A march by the way, that was organized by a gay black man Bayard Rustin, and a check that black LGBT folk are still waiting to cash!

  12. You an pray until you are blue in the face but you cant pray away your attraction to opposite or same sex. The only thing you can do is resist the urge, but then how long can you resist? The temptation will always be there and you will forever look at men the same way so stop lying to yourself and people will accept you for who you are. These so called Christians need to stop this nonsense of you cant be gay and be a christian at the same time and the only cure is to pray it away, that is like saying pray away being black.

    • Shunda on said:

      The Lord said, Be ye Holy, for I am Holy. If you think being gay, adultery, lying, stealing, cheating etc. is holy, then you are sadly mistaken. Now you can be forgiven of the act(s). Yes, God loves all of us but he does not love sin. God can heal anything & anybody. If my people will turn from their sins/wicked ways…

      • Shunda, No one is Holy. All “sin” is an abomination to a “Holy” God. Jesus define “righteous” by giving two commandments. To 1. “Love God with all of your heart, and to 2. Love your neighbor “as yourself.” Who can do this really? No one. I would think that Jesus knew how impossible for humans this is. Until you can live up to this standard that Jesus (not Paul… but Jesus) set forth, no one is really authorized to single out some one elses ills. Don’t get me wrong… there are consequences to everything… and if we (each) would just sit back and introspect the consequences (both good and bad) in are own lives…. well, it is such a full time job… we wouldn’t have the time or desire to be in other folks business. In my opinion this goes for folks on either side of this issue.

  13. Delicate Voice on said:

    Donnie, Please write a book about your experiences.. I commend you. This incident will make you richer in so many other ways… Most importantly record sales, because folks will feel every word. YOU fall down but you came up. My prayer everything goes in your favor. Shame on them….

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