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.
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
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.
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.”