Donnie McClurkin is an American gospel singer and a preacher. Last Saturday he was supposed to be one of the headline entertainers at the 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 march on Washington D.C. But because Donnie McClurkin also has boldly proclaimed that God delivered him from a homosexual lifestyle, gay advocates petitioned D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to uninvite him. Gray caved.
Apparently what is most offensive to the gay advocates is McClurkin’s testimony about being sexually abused as a child, first when he was 8 by an uncle and later by his cousin, the son of the uncle who had first abused him. Because of this abuse, McClurkin asserts he experienced sexual confusion that led him into a homosexual lifestyle. This lifestyle continued until he was 28, when he experienced a religious conversion. It is the assertion that his childhood sexual abuse was the cause of his homosexuality that enrages the gay community. Alvin McEwen, author of “How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America” writes in the Huffington Post: “Gay men are not the products of child molestation. It’s an ugly thing to imply otherwise. . .” McEwen went on to characterize McClurkin as ignorant and a homophobe.
Is it really so impossible that sexual abuse during childhood could be at least a factor in the development of at least some homosexuals? I think it’s not impossible. In fact it seems very likely. Harry Hay, one of the founders of homosexual activism in the United States was sexually abused by at least three different people on multiple occasions during his childhood—three that he admitted. Now, to be fair, Hay claimed in later years that he engaged in that conduct because he was gay. He must have been, he argued, because he remembered the encounters as pleasurable experiences. To me it sounds more plausible that he succumbed to the influence of older role models, or that his experience supports the theory of cognitive dissonance, or that attachment theory should be considered fact. Many other active homosexuals tell stories similar to Harry’s about sexual encounters with older children or men when they were children.
On the other hand, not all children who are victims of sexual abuse by same sex older children or adults become homosexual. There are no reliable studies that have been designed to gain insight into the percentages. One thing we do know is that, 80% of male pedophiles were child victims of male sexual predators. Again, not all victims become predators. The best estimate I could find indicates that 6% of male child victims of male predators become predators themselves.
The organization, NARTH (www.narth.org), which specializes in researching same sex attraction, repeatedly points out that the etiology of homosexuality, like most human behavior, has multiple pathways. While the homosexual community would like to assert that sexual orientation is genetically determined from birth, there is not one shred of evidence to support that claim.
In any event, the sexual abuse of children by older children and by adults currently is a crime, should remain a crime, and is completely inexcusable. Nothing good results from such abuse and if there is even a remote possibility that such abuse contributes to confusion in the child’s sexual orientation of some children, it’s just one more reason to vigorously protect children.
The bottom line is this. Donnie McClurkin was a victim of child sexual abuse on multiple occasions. It is his perception that the confusion caused by that abuse led him into a homosexual lifestyle, and that his faith delivered him from that lifestyle. Because of his honest testimony about his personal experience, he has been demonized by some elements of the homosexual community and he has been publicly humiliated by the Mayor of Washinton D.C.
This is wrong.