Controversial gospel singer Donnie McClurkin was dropped from
performing at a city-sponsored concert which took place on Saturday
at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Mayor Vincent Gray requested McClurkin's withdrawal from the event
after gay rights activists criticized his inclusion in the concert.
“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,” a spokesman
for Gray told The
Washington Post. “Mayor Gray said the purpose of the event
is to promote peace and harmony. That is what King was all about.”
But in a video posted online, McClurkin said that he was “bullied”
“They waited until the last moment to demand that I'm taken off
of the concert. Discrimination, bullying it's still a part of this,”
McClurkin said in the 7-minute video. “It's bullying, it's
discrimination, it's intolerance. And it is depriving someone of
their civil rights.”
McClurkin, a Grammy-winning musician who once said that God
delivered him from “the curse” of homosexuality, is a prominent
figure in the “ex-gay” movement.
“It is intolerant. These are bully tactics, simply because of
stances that I took,” McClurkin said in the video. “Never, ever
demeaning; never, ever derogatory of any lifestyle. But this is a
civil rights infringement situation. And imagine that, in the 21st
century, 2013, I, a black man, asked not to attend [inaudible]
because of politics.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
The concert, the first in a series of events to commemorate the
50th anniversary of the March on Washington, at which King
delivered his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech, was titled
Reflections on Peace: From Gandhi to King.