Thursday, October 25, 2007

Obama's Anti-Gay Alliance?

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition and other LGBT organizations and activists have blasted U.S. Sen. Barack Obama [D-Ill.] for including a so-called 'ex-gay' gospel singer in his weekend gospel tour in South Carolina.

Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who claims God allegedly turned him away from homosexuality, is among those scheduled to perform in Obama's "Embrace the Change" tour. The Democratic presidential hopeful announced late yesterday that he added a gay minister to the tour in an apparent response to this criticism. This move is nothing more than an attempt to pander to a base of potentially influential voters who remain somewhat skeptical of Obama's sincerity with regards to LGBT issues.

The Rev. Irene Monroe has repeatedly blasted Obama's opposition to marriage for same-sex couples because of his religious convictions. Openly gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson has backed his campaign. Others remain somewhat skeptical. Obama is certainly charismatic with all of the right talking points and sound bites to energize a Democratic base which has clearly grown tired of the Bush administration. The question remains: Does Obama have experience (and frankly the credibility) to successfully court LGBT voters ahead of the primaries and caucuses. The answer to this question remains in doubt as this latest controversy has arguably shown.

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