This homophobic preacher and failed TV host risked spreading coronavirus to protest an abortion clinic

Anti-gay preacher David Benham is attempting to make the least welcome comeback of 2020

Anti-gay preacher, failed TV host and professional martyr David Benham has been arrested for violating the coronavirus lockdown to stage a protest outside an abortion clinic.

Benham is best-known for being dropped as the host of a planned HGTV house flipping show back in 2014, when it emerged that he and twin brother Jason are both anti-LGBT+ activists who have protested Pride events and compared gay weddings to Nazi Germany.

The Benhams subsequently enjoyed a full five minutes as the martyred poster boys of the evangelical anti-LGBT+ movement – comparing their experience of being sacked to that of people murdered by ISIS.

But even far-right fame fades eventually, and clearly desperate times call for some extremely desperate measures.

David Benham has a great idea to propel himself back into the spotlight.

David Benham made his latest attempt to propel himself back into the spotlight on Saturday – after intentionally violating the coronavirus lockdown to stage an anti-choice protest in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was reportedly attended by around 50 people.

In a strangely high-quality video of the incident uploaded by Benham – shot, we assume, by a friendly neighbourhood cameraman who was definitely not there for any cynical reason – the preacher insisted to police officers that his protest constitutes an “essential” business which should be permitted during the lockdown.

He tells the police: “We are an essential, federally-recognised non-profit charity… we are within our rights to be here.”

Unsurprisingly, his claim that a mob of 50 fundamentalists shouting at people accessing healthcare is somehow compatible to businesses providing food and medicine did not wash – and the preacher was among eight people arrested by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for refusing to leave the gathering.

David Benham and his brother Jason Benham were dropped as TV hosts in 2014 over their anti-gay beliefs

David Benham and his brother Jason Benham were dropped as TV hosts in 2014 over their anti-gay beliefs

He told WBTV: “I believe that taking a stand like this is crucial right now because the government does not have unlimited power even in the midst of a really dangerous health crisis.”

The preacher now says his group will continue to show up and protest despite the arrests – as he rushed to do the far-right media rounds.

He told the Daily Caller website that his group was the victim of “viewpoint discrimination” against “conservative voices” in the city – though we’re not aware of any unsanctioned Pride marches being permitted to break the law

Ted Cruz decided to wade into the row, because of course he did.

Benham’s years-long quest to paint himself as a martyr continues to be paying off dividends with Republican senator Ted Cruz.

He tweeted: “My friend David Benham was unconstitutionally arrested today in NC for peacefully providing pregnancy counselling outside an abortion clinic.

“This is an unconstitutional arrest. @BenhamBrothers exercising core First Amendment rights. PEACEFULLY. In a way fully consistent w/ public safety. Because elected Dems are pro-abortion, they are abusing their power – in a one-sided way – to silence pregnancy counsellors.”

An editorial by the Charlotte Observer has since masterfully rebutted the cynical intervention, questioning if Cruz “couldn’t be bothered to do a little homework before popping off his outrage tweet”.

The newspaper explained: “Constitutional freedoms, including speech, are not absolute. They’re weighted against public health and safety considerations, and courts have long had no problem with [coronavirus] restrictions like those in North Carolina and other states so long as they are applied and enforced evenly and are justified by the public interest. Last month, a New Hampshire court ruled that a coronavirus-related ban on gatherings was a permissible restriction on free assembly.

“Cruz, who graduated from Harvard Law School, should know this. It’s pretty likely he does know this. His support of the abortion protesters was a political pantomime, not a serious legal opinion. It was a cheap play for fist pumps, but it comes with a cost. By declaring that people can violate public health restrictions if they feel strongly about something, Cruz dilutes those orders in Charlotte and everywhere else.”

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments