Last night, the Charlotte Observer held a forum about that awful HB2 law. It went well and was pretty much a good conversation. That is once folks got rid of the "clutter":
Most of the back and forth was polite. After Burton spoke of bathroom safety, City Attorney Bob Hagemann, rose from the audience to point out that a nearby identical ordinance approved in Columbia, S.C., had not led to open bathrooms nor an increase in predatory incidents.
David Chadwick, senior pastor at Forest Hill Church and a spiritual counselor to Gov. Pat McCrory, told the hundreds of audience members on hand that no one deserves to be bullied or singled out. But he said supporters of HB2 are too easily stereotyped by some as intolerant and discriminatory.
But when Erica Lachowitz, a transgender woman from Charlotte, talked about her personal experiences, conservative Christian minister Flip Benham rose from his seat and changed the tone in the theater. Earlier in the evening he let out an audible “Ridiculous” as former Observer writer Elizabeth Leland recounted episodes of violence or harassment LGBT individuals she had discovered around the state.
Now Benham, waving a Bible in one hand, interrupted Lachowitz with a shout of “Abomination!” before pivoting his attention toward Chadwick.
“David, is sodomy a sin? Answer the question,” Benham roared repeatedly as two police officers rushed toward him.
“Get him out of here,” another man shouted as Benham was led through the nearest door.
Chadwick responded by saying his was a God of love, not hate, and that the love might offer the promise of compromise. Earlier in the evening, he had also said this; “You can’t legislate the human heart to change.”