We guess there just aren’t enough women’s health clinics around to satisfy Philip “Flip” Benham — the extremist anti-choice founder & director of Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue), who was (again) convicted in 2010 of stalking abortion doctors in the Charlotte, N.C., area, after putting out “Wanted” posters with the doctors’ names and addresses, and leading protests in front of the homes of several — since his focus seems to have turned (again) to harassing gay folks and the people who don’t hate them.
Randall Terry founded Operation Rescue in 1988, and the group began organizing massive protests in front of women’s clinics shortly thereafter. …
In 1994, Flip Benham took over as the leader of Operation Rescue, and the group changed its name to Operation Save America is 1999. The change in name coincided with a broadening of the group’s agenda. Instead of focusing solely on abortion, it would now oppose gays and the absence of God in public schools.
Benham has had many tussles with law enforcement in his Operation activism. He was arrested for obstructing traffic and throwing advertising materials onto the street while protesting the Walt Disney Company’s tolerance of gays in Florida in 1997.
In 1998, Benham and Operation Rescue were fined $10 million for stalking and harassing an obstetrician and his wife in Texas. …
Also in 1998, Benham received a six-month prison term for a demonstration in front of a high school in Lynchburg, Virginia. Benham led a group of 150 students from Liberty University, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, in the protest. The protestors blocked students from entering and exiting the high school, as they passed out literature and held up placards with pictures of alleged aborted fetuses.
In 2000, members of Operation Save America disrupted the service at a predominately gay church in Texas and were convicted in March 2002. …
— “Operation Rescue”
Montana Human Rights Network
For more than a decade, Benham has been protesting pride festivals and churches and other organizations not gay-hatin’ enough for his liking, but he seems to have stepped up his attacks on— er, not attacks… protests against… oh, wait, they’re not protests… Whatever he wants to call his public condemnations of places that don’t share his irrational anti-queer fear, particularly gay-friendly churches, he seems to be doing a lot more of it.*
Benham’s next target is the gay-friendly United Church of Christ near Charlotte on Sunday, July 22, reports Qnotes.
But, again, this is not a “protest,” see, ’cause Flippy says it’s not, so there:
Benham insists his group will not be “protesting” the church.
“There will be no protest,” he told qnotes. “There’s going to be a small proclamation. We’re not protesting. We’re gospel proclaimers and that’s what we do.”
Qnotes adds: “Benham’s group will protest three other churches in and around Concord and Charlotte. Benham initially declined to say which other churches would be targeted, but said not all of them will be affiliated with the United Church of Christ or be ‘pro-homosexual.’”
Lots more info at the link — including the names of other churches Benham plans on not-protesting.
* Homophobes always sputter: “I’m not homophobic! I don’t fear homosexuals!” Obviously, they do, or they wouldn’t spend their time warning others of the dire consequences (fire! flood! God’s wrath!) of treating gays like, well, real people. They fear homosexuality — no matter how much these ladies doth protest.
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