Obama Adds Gay Minister to Balance Anti-Gay Singer
After spending the week getting hammered for inviting a gay-bashing gospel singer to tour with him in South Carolina, Barack Obama has added an openly gay minister to the line-up.
In response to an uproar from gay activists, Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential campaign on Thursday added a gay minister to the lineup for its weekend gospel tour.
Gay activists had criticized Obama’s “Embrace the Change” tour in South Carolina because the performers included gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who says homosexuality is a choice.
Obama’s campaign invited Rev. Andy Sidden, a South Carolina pastor who is openly gay, to appear on Sunday in Columbia. Obama discussed Sidden’s inclusion Thursday with Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which supports gay rights.
Somehow, I don’t think this is going to end the criticism. Especially not when Obama’s writing letters with passages like this:
Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. 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.
A sampling of the reaction thus far:
- John Aravosis: “Keep digging, Senator.”
- Jasmyne Cannick: “What the hell were Obama’s people thinking . . . ?”
- Keith Boykin: “This move is sure to piss off almost everybody, except HRC, who apparently brokered the deal”
Obama’s a smart, charismatic man. But continued boneheaded missteps like this would seem to reinforce the view that he’s not yet ready for prime time. That’s really no surprise: He’s run exactly one significant political race in his life before this one and the the presidential arena is a whole different league.