Operation Save America, run by Rev Flip Benham, is one of those organizations that fights Pride celebrations, then attends them making a nuisance of himself (and is a laughingstock). However, as Matt Comer reports, this year he brought a convicted, registered child rapist to Charlotte Pride, Howard Scott Heldreth, who stood out on the street corner talking about the evils of homosexuality. The hypocrisy is astonishing.
To the great dismay of the members and leader of the anti-gay, far-right Operation Save America – including a member once charged and convicted of child rape – the annual Pride Charlotte celebration for LGBT and straight Charlotteans went off without a hitch. According to police estimates, a record-breaking 10,000 people attended the festival at Uptown Charlotte’s Gateway Village at Trade and Cedar Streets, making the event the largest of its kind in the Carolinas and between Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
Also in tow with Operation Save America was member Howard Scott Heldreth…of Kannapolis, N.C. (Benham said his group doesn’t have “members” – they have Christians). He stood on the corner Cedar and Trade Streets preaching about the “evils” of homosexuality. I snapped a quick photo of him talking to Ante Pavkovic as I thought Heldreth looked eerily similar to an Operation Save America member who is a registered sex offender. Of course, I was right.
Heldreth was convicted in 1992, at the age of 19. He also had a record at the time, including battery.
InterstateQ also features Heldreth’s sex registry record. More below the fold.
Matt doesn’t hold back in pointing out the gall of the situation:
While it bothers me (actually, it makes me sick) to think a convicted child rapist (who used his sexual actions to harm and injure an innocent child) is standing on a corner and preaching that my (consensual) sex (with adults) is evil, I also think it is absolutely inappropriate for a sex offender (i.e. pedophile) to be present at an event where children are among the many participants.
Please let Flip and his crew show up at NC Pride in Durham this year. I shot video of Flip in action last year, and he and his supporters were off-the-charts batsh*t crazy: