Journalist, blogger and progressive activist Matt Comer, editor of qnotes, Charlotte’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community newspaper, will join host Vince Coakley on-air at WBT 1110 AM and streaming on wbt.com on Friday afternoon, 4:30 p.m., to debate local anti-gay leader Dr. Michael Brown on the topic, “What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?”
Comer has been an ardent critic of Brown, who leads the local anti-gay Coalition of Conscience and has detailed his use of inflammatory and violent religious rhetoric at godhasabetterwaycharlotte.com. Brown has often compared his movement against LGBT equality as a life-or-death struggle. Brown has said he seeks to “raise up a holy army … by life or by death.”
Brown is also closely associated with evangelical leader Lou Engle of TheCall, who has appeared several times in the African nation of Uganda, blessing religious and legislative movements currently advocating for the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill. The legislation prescribes harsh prison sentences and the death penalty on LGBT people and has been condemned by human rights groups and governments across the globe, including the United States.
Brown has twice led protests of Charlotte’s annual gay pride festival. In 2009, he invited Engle to his church to help kick-off 21 days of prayer before the event. There, Engle told the audience, “Men, it’s time to go to battle!” and compared the LGBT community to a goliath in need of slaying. Engle also said LGBT equality is more dangerous than terrorism. Despite repeated requests from Comer, Brown has refused to distance himself from Engle.
Comer is a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., and has served as editor of qnotes since October 2007. Established in 1986, qnotes is the premier arts, entertainment and news publication serving the Carolinas’ LGBT communities. Prior to moving to Charlotte, Comer worked and volunteered with a variety of local, state and national LGBT organizations. He was a participant in the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride, which visited 24 Christian colleges and universities across the country that openly discriminate against LGBT students and faculty. In 2008, Comer’s essay on his upbringing in a conservative Baptist home and church was published in the collection “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America,” edited by Mitchell Gold. Comer attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is currently enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he is studying American history and politics.
Members of the press are invited to attend the live debate broadcast at WBT Radio Station, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC, 28208. Press representatives should arrive by 4:15 p.m. and, if attending, are requested to notify Susan G. Brown, producer, at 704-363-6653 or email@example.com. Comer is available for interviews. He can be reached via phone at 336-391-9528 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.