Language Used In Letter Echo’ Offensive 1998 Million Dollar Ex-Gay Campaign NEW YORK — Truth Wins Out criticized a letter from GLBT advocates and African American preachers defending Barack Obama’ poor decision to offer a platform to virulently anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. In an effort to win the crucial Democratic primary in South Carolina, the Obama campaign seems willing to open it’ “big tent” to bigots at the expense of GLBT citizens, says Truth Wins Out.

“Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans,” the letter said. “This cannot and should not be denied. At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.”

Truth Wins Out condemned the letter as empty rhetoric that skirts the central issues, while doing nothing to lessen intolerance. Furthermore, the letter is inconsistent with Obama’ admirable efforts to practice a “different kind of politics.”

“This incoherent letter basically says, “we know McClurkin’ message is despicable, but hey, we really need the bigot vote in South Carolina, so we are willing to surrender our core principles and pander to anti-gay preachers,'” said Truth Wins Out’ Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The letter is a false compromise, that only compromises the values of dignity and respect for all people. For all the feel good language in this letter, GLBT voters are not feeling very good about the way they have been treated during this controversy.”

Indeed, even the language used in this letter was eerily reminiscent of the 1998 “Truth In Love” right wing ad campaign that said homosexuals could be “cured” through prayer. The print and television campaign featured the late football star Reggie White and featured ex-gay activist John Paulk, who was later photographed in a gay bar in Washington. According to the letter:

“We also ask Senator Obama’s critics to consider the alternatives… would we rather stand with Barack Obama, who speaks truth in love to both sides, pulling no punches but foreclosing no opportunities to engage?”

“If we look at the name of the gospel tour, “Embrace the Change” combined with the “truth in love” phrase in the letter, one has to wonder if the religious right has hijacked the campaign’ media operation,” said Besen. “Obama should have shown leadership and dumped McClurkin. Let’ hope the Obama campaign has learned from this debacle and can return to its inspiring message of hope and genuine reconciliation — which is not what this clumsy letter represents.”

Indeed, McClurkin, as feared, used his platform to indirectly condemn the GLBT population saying, “there is a side of Christ that deals in judgment, and all sin is against God.”

“McClurkin conveniently left out the side of religion that condemns such intolerance and supports the equality of GLBT people,” said Besen “There are many people of faith who don’t share McClurkin’ backwards views and these are the people that Obama’ campaign should be courting.”

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit
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