Was the Mayor right to axe Donnie McClurkin from the Washington show?
Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin's gay stance meant he was uninvited to a concert in Washington D.C. celebrating Martin Luther King Jr and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
In 2002, the Grammy award winner 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."
Now, McClurkin claim he was uninvited to the concert in Washington, despite being listed as a headliner. In a video posted online, the musician said D.C Mayor Vincent C. Gray's office asked him not to attend the concert,
"Last night, on the way to the airport, we received a telephone call from the promoters who had received word from the Mayor's office -Mayor Gray's office- as well as the arts commission that I was not welcomed and uninvited the night before the concert," McClurkin said. "[It's] quite unfortunate that in today a black man, a black artist is uninvited from a civil rights movement depicting the love, the unity, the peace, the tolerance."
These are bully tactics simply because of stances that I took never, ever demeaning, never, ever derogatorily addressing any, any lifestyle," he said.
Watch Donnie McClurkin's video posted online:
Gray's office has confirmed the mayor was behind the axing, "This was an issue involving a potential controversy at an event that was going to focus on harmony and peace, and we just didn't think that was appropriate for this event," a statement said.
A mayoral spokeswoman also said that the city's Arts and Humanities Commission and the singer's manager had "decided that it would be best for him to withdraw."
Phil Pannell, a local gay rights activist and civil rights advocate, said he made objections to the performance because he thinks McClurkin's comments on homosexuality have not been in the spirit of the "beloved community" about which King spoke.
"I take no joy that he is not performing," Pannell said. "I really admire Donnie McClurkin's artistry, but this is a situation where a political polemic obscured his artistry."
Donnie McClurkin has won threee Grammy awards, ten Stellar awards, two BET awards, two Soul Train awards, one Dove award and one NAACP Image award for his work.
Donnie McClurkin Was Axed From The Martin Luther King Jr Event