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Charlotte may restrict use of public parks because of wingnut protest over Gay Pride event

Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory is under pressure from the fundy group Operation Save America to restrict the use of public parks, specifically targeting Charlotte Pride; protestors at last year’s Charlotte Pride.

Operation Save America held a protest at a city council meeting in Charlotte on Monday, decrying the use of a public park for a Charlotte Pride Festival. The fundamentalist group called for the police working the Pride event who wore rainbow pins to be reprimanded for this simple act of freedom of speech.

I wasn’t at this particular Pride celebration they are protesting about, but I’m pretty certain it doesn’t resemble anything described by these people. The state NC Pride event (held in Durham, which I attended) is a certainly a wonderful, fun, tame event. Last year’s attendance at the event topped 8,000, and, according to Q-Notes, which covered Charlotte Pride in 2004, OSA members went in and out of the crowd “harassing LGBT festival-goers by videotaping them, and asking them about their sexuality and suggesting they should consider changing their orientation.”


Some people who say pornographic images were displayed at a gay and lesbian event in Marshall Park last spring are pushing officials to consider restrictions on groups who use city parks. A large crowd of concerned citizens showed up at Monday night’s city council meeting to press local leaders to reject a permit application by the same group to hold the Charlotte Pride Festival in the park this year.

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory asked the city attorney to investigate possible restrictions on the group before allowing it to use a city park. He said he does not want to approve the Pride Festival permit until he hears back from the city attorney.

A Christian group made a presentation to city council in November, describing their complaints of the sorts of activities that occurred at the festival. They complained that the event, which was held in a public place, subjected anyone who happened to walk by to “vulgar acts, references to sodomy and open displays of hostilities toward Christians who were there.”

OSA: ‘The battle for the culture in the city of Charlotte has just begun’

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Darrel Stephens is also caught in the middle of this brawl with Operation Save America.

OSA is headed by Rev. Philip L. (Flip) Benham. Flip’s bio suggests that he spends an unholy amount of time spewing wingnuttery on the air.

Appearing on numerous local and national television and radio programs (Good Morning America, 48 Hours, Sonja Live, David Praegger Live, ABC World News Tonight, CBS News, NBC News, Hannity & Colmes, and CNN), Rev. Benham is a bold witness for the Lord Jesus Christ in the public arena. He has been interviewed by the Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, World Magazine, and virtually every major newspaper in the country. Flip leads by example, having spent time in jail for the cause of Christ in Wichita, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Lynchburg and Washington D.C. Flip always preaches Jesus Christ as the answer to the multitude of sins presently savaging our nation.

This American Taliban-style organization isn’t even from this area (it’s based in TX). The goal of OSA, besides returning homos to the closet, is to get God back in the classroom and the state back into a woman’s womb through its Streets movement. According to its web site, the group has people reporting in on activities carried out in: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

His mission to engage in a culture war in Charlotte is clear, based on the group’s press release in advance of their appearance before the city council.

The City of Charlotte granted a permit to the “Pride Festival” for the express purpose of celebrating sodomy among “gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual persons.” This right next door to the First Baptist Church in downtown Charlotte, and in a public park no less.

The “celebration” included open displays of obscenity with dozens of photos of males displaying full frontal nudity and worse. It included vendor booths selling S&M; merchandise, a sound stage with transvestite dancers simulating sodomy in front of children. Foul, vile, and threatening comments were made toward children by homosexuals during the comedic routines from the sound stage. Hundreds of children of all ages were in the park. Many parents were taken completely unaware by what our city fathers had allowed into the park.

For eight months concerned Christian parents have attempted to bring this information to the District Attorney, the Charlotte Police Department, and the City Council — only to be stonewalled at every turn. We have asked for the prosecution of these lawbreakers. We have asked the city not to reissue a permit to “Pride Festival.” We have asked the police department to reprimand the officers who policed the event and turned a blind eye. Many of those on duty appeared to be homosexual themselves, wearing rainbow pins, etc. Seventeen eyewitness testimonies and irrefutable photographic evidence were provided to the Charlotte City Council in November.

In a memo from Chief Darrel Stephens, he equated the homosexual “celebration” to what transpires in adult establishments in the city. Someone needs to remind Chief Stephens that local Statute Section 12.518 restricts adult entertainment establishments from being within 1,000′ of any park, let alone being held within a park.

The battle for the culture in the city of Charlotte has just begun.

Operation Save America Director Rev. Philip L. (Flip) Benham baptizing Norma (Jane Roe) McCorvey.

OSA has been railing about this Pride festival for a good long while on its site.

Each year the radical homosexual agenda attempts to shove immorality down our throats through their pride festivals. The picture these militant sodomites like to paint of homosexuality in America’s government schools is a far cry from the stark reality of sodomite culture. It is pornographic, obscene and disgusting and these festivals are tame compared their club scene. The depravity inherent in those choosing this perverted lifestyle of death is flaunted openly at their festivals held in public venues. Their clear intent is to destroy the Christian morality that is the glue that holds our society together.

It’s frightening to think that a group like this is making headway. They are on the fringe, but they now have officials running for cover.

If you want to drop them a line, here’s OSA web site:
Operation Save America
P.O. Box 740066
Dallas, TX 75374
Phone: 972-240-9370
Fax: 972-240-9789
Please feel free to contact OSA Director Rev. Flip Benham at the above address or telephone number. [That’s what it says, right there on its page.]

For general correspondence:

What’s more important is that Mayor McCrory needs to know that Operation Save America doesn’t represent the values of North Carolinians (or Americans for that matter).

Mayor Patrick McCrory

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding