CONCORD, N.C. — Anti-LGBTQ street preacher and activist Flip Benham is one of the so-called “religious leaders” standing beside Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore.
Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by a number of women, who say the incidents occurred when they were teenagers, some as young as 14 and 15. Moore has admitted he “dated a lot of young ladies” when he was in his thirties, but has denied the allegations.
Benham spoke at a press conference in support of Moore last week, organized by anti-abortion activist Janet Porter.
After claiming that “homosexual sodomy destroys those who participate in that behavior and nations who approve of it,” he reflected on his own past.
“I’ve gotta just tell you, media, if you had to go back, if I had to go back 40 year and look back at my past, I would be in serious trouble,” Benham, who is 69, said. “And I don’t have an opportunity to face my accusers or anything like that? But so long as they can just make the accusation, get it out there, then all of a sudden my character is completely impinged.”
You can listen to him make those comments below.
Benham was later seen losing his temper after the press conference, grabbing for a reporter’s camera and asking, “Why don’t you shut your mouth?”
Benham, has claimed to be concerned with the protection of women and girls while arguing against transgender rights in Charlotte. In 2015, he made headlines for confronting a 17 year-old trans girl outside a government center bathroom.
Moore was present at the “faith leaders” press event as well, but walked out with his wife when reporters began asking difficult questions.
Subsequently, Benham appeared on Alabama talk radio show Matt & Aunie, with hosts Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg, where he put forward a bizarre defense for Moore.
He claimed the politician had to date teenage girls because most of the older ones were already taken when he returned from the military.
“Judge Roy Moore graduated from West Point and then went on into the service, served in Vietnam and then came back and was in law school,” Benham said. “All of the ladies, or many of the ladies that he possibly could have married, were not available then, they were already married, maybe, somewhere.”
Benham then said that “there is something about a purity of a young woman, and there’s something about, something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight, and he looked for that character and he found it.”
When informed that Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, was divorced when they wed, and asked if that didn’t undercut the “purity” argument, he seemed taken aback.
Moore then shifted to ask if a man in his thirties should have the right to date a 14 year-old, as long as he had her parents’ permission. When the hosts said it was not okay, Benham once again seemed surprised.
When asked by Murphy if Benham thought it would be okay for a grown man to date a 10 year-old, with parental permission, he avoided the question, before finally agreeing that it would be inappropriate.
“Congratulations, Flip, now you’re in the modern world,” Murphy told him.
You can listen to the interview, via Right Wing Watch, below. Alabamans head to the polls on Dec. 12 to choose between Moore, who has said he won’t drop out despite pressure from the Republican party to do so, and Democrat Doug Jones.