Last week there was a flurry of controversy over the public disinviting of gospel star Donnie McClurkin to a DC celebration of in advance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The mayor's office cited numerous complaints from people who felt McClurkin's "ex-gay" rhetoric was not in keeping with Martin Luther King's legacy.
While even within King's family there's a split on the issue of LGBT justice (Coretta Scott King is famously supportive, her daughter Bernice, famously not) an association has clearly been forged between LGBT push for equality to the civil rights movement. With the likes of Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson aligning their activism to include their lesbian, transgendered, bisexual and queer sisters and brothers, that bond is inextricably connected to the furtherance of civil rights for all humanity.
This still has not satisfied many African American clergy. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore famously went on CNN to denounce President Obama after his announcement in favor of same-sex marriage earlier this year. And while some black clergy did come forward in support of the president, Bryant was not alone in his opposition. Studies have shown that while black churchgoers in this country may poll liberal when it comes to certain social issues, theologically they fall on the conservative side.
Enter Donnie McClurkin.
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