Benham Brothers – Deny LGBTQ Permits? A Response to the Critics

Posted in Leadership by Benham Brothers | August 18th, 2014

take a stand

During the media firestorm over HGTV cancelling our show in April 2014 a few bloggers picked up on a comment from Jason at a Charlotte City Council meeting in 2004, regarding LGBTQ permits for Charlotte (gay) Pride. Here’s the highlighted portion of his comment that was circulated: “You have to accept that responsibility and deny (Charlotte Pride) every permit they ask for.”

On its face I would say Jason was wrong, politically speaking. These people have the right to assembly, just like anyone else. Theologically speaking, of course, I would agree that God’s ways are best and that anyone walking in “pride” removes God’s favor from their life…but that’s another blog altogether.

Proverbs 18:17 says, “The first to present his case seems right, until another man comes and examines him.” I wanted to take a minute and examine what and why Jason said what he said. Then I will give you a statement to ponder at the end.

First, let me give you a little history. Jason and I were together in 2004 when we walked into Marshall Park – a park bordering First Baptist Charlotte – and saw roughly 5,000 people gathered for Charlotte Pride. What we witnessed with our own eyes completely floored us!

If you want a good laugh watching Alan Colmes from Fox News Radio’s “The Alan Colmes Show,” back-peddle after we described to him what was taking place click here: (Segment 1 go to 11:34-12:34 & Segment 2 go to 1:03-4:21)

Inside some of the booths we witnessed full frontal nudity (men behind other men, etc.)– which is against the law in any public park – and sex toys being distributed throughout the park, even with children walking around.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the organizers of the event gathered everyone to the center of the park to hear a comedian talk about “dikes on trikes” and how much she liked “playing with” little girls. Our hearts began to grow incredibly heavy with the weight of what was taking place in a public park, in our city.

The tipping point came when we watched transvestite dancers come front stage and strip-tease dance on little children. It was the most perverted and illegal act we had ever witnessed with our own eyes in a public park. Something had to be done.

The following weeks after the event we scheduled a meeting with the District Attorney’s office and informed him – with pictures – of the illegal activity that had taken place in our city. The images disturbed him, but he said he didn’t have a winnable case. We went to the mayor’s office. Then we went to City Council. Each time telling them not to allow permits to be granted to an organization that would not only condone but celebrate such behavior.

Then we reached out to sponsors of the event. Below is a clip from a letter to Starbucks that Dr. Michael Brown wrote in 2005, who was also working in high gear to raise awareness of what was taking place:

Last year’s event was marked by open pornographic displays (see the enclosed pictures, with discretion). This year, a steady police presence, coupled with appeals from the mayor, had a modifying effect on the event. However, there were still many objectionable actions performed in a public park, such as transvestites performing sexual dances in full view of little children, even receiving money from them as they danced (see enclosed pictures). Again I must ask: Is this what Starbucks wants to be associated with? Is this what Starbucks means by diversity?

Unfortunately, Jason’s position on the permit issue was not popular then, and it’s not popular now. Yet there comes a time when we all have to make a decision about certain things – and Jason made his decision clear in 2004.

If you haven’t yet listened to the Fox News Radio clip do that if you can, then ask yourself what you would’ve done. Ponder this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr:

“Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”

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