CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Anti-LGBTQ and pro-life street preacher and activist Flip Benham tried shouting down Mayor Vi Lyles as she addressed the crowd at the Charlotte Women’s March on Saturday. It did not go his way.
Lyles was speaking from the stage at First Ward Park when Benham began yelling to her about abortion.
“What about the little baby girls?!” he yelled. “What about the children in the womb, Vi?!”
“I want to recognize the people that stand with us,” Lyles said. “I understand, I understand. When you come to City Council and speak for your three minutes, I do not interrupt you. If you would give me that same courtesy.”
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 20, 2018
Participants of the march soon surrounded the preacher, with some holding signs and other objects in front of him.
“I believe that everyone has the opportunity to express their beliefs,” Lyles said.
“I want you to know that this is part of standing up and standing tall for what you believe in,” she said, to cheering and applause.
Soon a chant of, “Let her speak,” went up throughout those in attendance.
“Thank you,” Lyles said. “You know what? I have to say this, that it’s not always easy standing. But, you know, I stand because you chose me to stand. So I don’t fear, I don’t have any fear. Because I know I have support. I know that the people care.”
Lyles also thanked her supporters at the march on Twitter.
Thank you so much for your love and support as I spoke today. Love always wins.
— Mayor Vi Lyles (@ViLyles) January 20, 2018
Benham pulled a similar stunt during the 2016 Charlotte Pride opening ceremonies, using a bullhorn to shout over several speakers, including former mayor Jennifer Roberts.
Benham supported Roy Moore in his run for U.S. Senate, despite several women claiming he sexually assaulted them, including some who said they were 14 and 15 during the time of the assault. During an event with “faith leaders,” as well as Moore and his wife, Benham criticized the media and suggested that if it anyone were to go digging around in his past, they might find some similarly unsavory details.