The choice of anti-gay – formerly gay
– pastor Donnie McClurkin to headline a popular Boston gospel
festival has drawn the ire of local gay activists, gay
weekly Bay Windows reported.
Boston officials have invited McClurkin
to headline GospelFest, the July 18 city-funded gospel festival.
McClurkin attracted national headlines
in 2007 when he headlined a gospel concert in South Carolina hosted
by then-Democratic primary candidate Barack Obama.
The Grammy-winning singer and New York
evangelical pastor has previously likened being gay to a “curse”
and called it a choice.
“Our mayor and city hall represent
all of its residents, not just Christian conservatives,” Bay
Windows columnist Irene Monroe said. “It's fine to have a
gospel singer, but given his history, it's a denunciation of
Officials in Mayor Thomas M. Menino's
administration told the paper they were unaware of the singer's
In his 2001 memoir Eternal
Victim/Eternal Victor, McClurkin writes he was repeatedly raped
between the ages of 8 and 13, leaving him “broke.” He's since
called gay relationships abusive.
Obama campaign officials at first
resisted dropping McClurkin from gospel concerts it was hosting
because of his popularity in South Carolina.
“Don't call me a bigot or anti-gay,”
he told a crowd of over 3,000 Obama supporters in Columbia. “Don't
call be a homophobe, because I love everybody. … Let me tell you
something, the grace of God is given to all men.”
Boston officials say they're looking
into the matter.