Gay Leaders in US Call on  Bush to Repudiate Inflammatory Speakers



Anti-gay speakers should not be featured at convention, say Jacques and Robinson





In the past few weeks, concert promoters have cancelled shows featuring Jamaican dancehall stars who have recorded songs with homophobic lyrics.  But the same standards set by the promoters are not being followed by the organisers of the Republican National Convention, which got underway in New York today (August 30).

Donnie McClurkin, Sheri Dew and Bishop Keith Butler and all scheduled to speak from the platform of the Convention in the coming days.  And all three have made public remarks which are best described as anti-gay and inflamitory.

Entertainer Donnie McClurkin is set to appear at the convention on the same day as President Bush.  He has accused gays of “trying to kill our children” and has called homosexuality “a curse”.

This has angered Cheryl Jacques, the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and H. Alexander Robinson, the strategic director of the National Black Justice Coalition.

The two have sent a joint letter to the White House asking President Bush to “immediately repudiate” the comments of the three speakers.

HRC today released the text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President,

As advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Americans, we are writing to you on a matter of grave concern.

We are deeply disturbed to learn that Donnie McClurkin, Sheri Dew and Bishop Keith Butler, who have made deeply offensive comments about GLBT Americans, will be featured at the Republican Convention and we urge you to repudiate their divisive and appalling comments.

Mr. McClurkin, who will be entertaining from the convention stage on Thursday, has accused gay Americans of “trying to kill our children” (“The 700 Club,” Sept. 23, 2003) and has called homosexuality a “curse” (Charisma Magazine, June 2002).

In an article about same-sex marriage, Ms. Dew, who is speaking before the convention on Monday, called for “a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family” (Meridian Magazine).

In talking about the “gay lifestyle,” the Bishop Keith Butler, who is appearing on the convention stage on Thursday, has claimed that it “endangers family, children, and the core of society” (October 2003 press conference).

Mr. President, featuring individuals on the stage of your convention who compare a group of Americans to Hitler and accuse them of killing children is divisive and irresponsible. The American people abhor discriminatory, false and inflammatory language against any group of Americans.

Uniting America comes with helping families, not by promoting those who want to divide us.  We urge you to immediately repudiate these comments.


Cheryl A. Jacques, President of the Human Rights Campaign
H. Alexander Robinson, Strategic Director of the National Black Justice Coalition

Useful Links

Human Rights Campaign

National Black Justice Coalition

 30 August, 2004