Donnie McClurkin removed from MLK concert over 'ex-gay' claims, still paid $10,000
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Donnie McClurkin, a gospel singer who says God delivered him "from the sin of homosexuality," is firing back at Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and other officials after he says he was removed from headlining a concert at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
A Grammy winner and pastor, McClurkin was scheduled to perform at the concert Saturday evening to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Several gay rights activists objected to his participation ahead of the event.
Doxie McCoy, a spokeswoman for Mayor Vincent Gray, says McClurkin decided to not perform because the purpose of the event was to bring people together.
McClurkin, however, will be paid $10,000 as the city is contractually obligated to do, according to Lionell Thomas, the executive director of D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
"Mr. McClurkin was invited to participate a week before the concert and the contract was signed on August 5, 2013," Thomas wrote in an email. "Mr. McClurkin’s total payment includes the performance fee, air, hotel, ground transportation costs, and per diem."
Yet in a video statement, McClurkin says he was "asked not to attend" and was uninvited from the concert. McClurkin says there should be freedom of speech "as long as it's done in love."
The controversy stems from McClurkin's past statements that he was "delivered from the sin of homosexuality." - what's referred to as being an "ex-gay."
Some community activists said the mayor made the right move.
But some black ministers from around the city lobbied the mayor to keep McClurkin on the program.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.