500 Protest Charlotte Pride, Police Report No Problems

Jim Burroway

July 26th, 2009

TheCall\'s Lou Engle (with microphone and arm raised) leading protesters in prayer. (News Channel 14)

TheCall's Lou Engle (with microphone and raised arm) leading protesters in prayer. (News 14 Carolina)

An estimated 10,000 people turned out to celebrate Charlotte Pride yesterday, while an anti-gay protest organized by local evangelist Michael Brown and TheCall’s Lou Engle attracted about 500 participants. While the Charlotte Observer reports that the number of protesters this year was a significant  over previous years, it appears to have fallen short of the thousand that the organizers had hoped for. Michael Brown insisted that his “lamb-like” protesters would remain across the street from the festival grounds, but several of his red-shirted sheep apparently were lost and were seen across the street mingling with Pride-goers spreading their anti-gay message. Charlotte police report no problems and no arrests.

Longtime Pride participant Monica Simpson. (News 14 Charlotte)

Longtime Pride participant Monica Simpson. (News 14 Charlotte)

The protest organizers, who dubbed their effort as “God Has A Better Way,” released a statement last night with a long list of well-worn grievances, and declaring that the push for equality “stops here in Charlotte.” At least one longtime Pride participant decided to turn that message around:

“Each year, we have groups come to our pride celebrations trying to demonstrate their message of love, saying there\’s a better way or we need to change who we are, and so this year I thought, what if we go to them? I think it\’s time to flip the script, so to speak,” Monica Simpson said.

In the midst of the sea of red shirts stood Simpson, a yearly pride participant.

“It allowed me to see how much work still needs to be done on this earth as we really talk about the dream that God has for us to live as one and realize we are all connected as one,” she said.


July 26th, 2009

This is the high point of Brown and his gang’s hate parade. Have fun sliding back into irrelevancy! ^^

L. Junius Brutus

July 26th, 2009

1700 years of persecution and *they* have grievances? Don’t make me laugh.

a. mcewen

July 26th, 2009

I know Monica and as usual she did an awesome job standing up to the liars in her own way.


July 26th, 2009

People like that woman give me hope about the future of the Church.


July 26th, 2009

The fundamentalists are always lying about how we go about trying to recruit people. What do they think they’re doing?

And what makes them think that showing such disdain for gay people would make them want to convert anyway?

Just leave us the frick alone. Jesus.


July 26th, 2009

Flashpoint, indeed.

Reason Rocks

July 26th, 2009

In psychology this is called an extinction burst. And it’s not a very impressive one at that.


July 26th, 2009

North Carolina has never been known for producing high-I.Q. people.


July 26th, 2009

They keep praying and praying in hopes of turning us straight… but we’re all still so gay just like the day we were born. I guess god has no interest in answering their payers. (Of course any person of intelligence knows there is no god, so that’s a mute point anyway.) Nothing fails like payer!


July 26th, 2009

I have a source who was present at Charlotte Pride, and he claims that he only saw about 125 people in red shirts, and combined with the other people that appeared to be part of the group, he believes the number was closer to 175 at the very most.

I’m interested in knowing where the “500” figure came from. Was a Channel 14 reporter just parroting a figure given to them by the “God Has A Better Way” group? Was it an official police estimate (since they escorted the group to the Pride location) or are *they* just parroting a figure given to them? What time was the estimate taken? I’m sure the numbers fluctuated.

Either way, attendance fell far short of the 1000 that Michael Brown wished for. It doesn’t matter, though… he’ll still spin it into a “massive success” and a Charisma magazine cover story.

Dr. Michael L. Brown

July 26th, 2009

Alvin (McEwen), could you please clarify what makes our group “liars”? And were you aware that the quote from Monica was recorded before she spent an hour worshiping with us and that she and I had a great talk and exchanged contact information for future dialog?

Christopher, we actually have a number of crowd shots of our folks walking together to the event, along with signed sheets for everyone who took a red-shirt (the number of those wearing red t-shirts was in the multiple hundreds; we’re waiting for the exact count), plus we had more than 150 people (conservatively speaking; the number might have been much higher) who didn’t wear the red t-shirts, including more than 100 who were there before our march to the event, plus we had a good number of families with babies in strollers and little children, and most of them weren’t counted either.

The police estimate of our marching group was 400 (as told to my wife by the officer she spoke with), and, as mentioned, we had well over 100 waiting for us at the event when we arrived. The police also told me candidly that they no longer give official estimates of the pride events (and, perhaps, other public events), since, they said, people print whatever they like. When one of my colleagues who walked around the pride event was surprised at what he thought were low numbers (although it was quite spread out with vendor booths, etc.), I told him the newspapers will print that 10,000 were there, which is exactly what happened.

Our goal was 1,000, which we knew was lofty, but based on the excitement generated by the event and the many excellent conversations our folks had with attendees, we have great expectation for next year’s event. In any case, to our knowledge, this was far and away the biggest thing of its kind in conjunction with any gay pride event anywhere before, and since it was backed by weeks of prayer and fasting, we are trusting God for excellent long-term fruit to come out of this.

As for a Charisma cover story, that would be news to me! They contacted us to do a story on our plans for the event, which came out a couple of days ago, and as far as I know, that’s the extent of it. As for trying to be on the front cover of a Christian (or other magazine), that might be the goal of some folks you know, but it’s certainly not ours! :)


July 26th, 2009

Though NC seems to have it’s share of politicized sexual drama, this event just adds one more black feather in the cap of human justice.

Though I know you are petrified at the children issue, it’s simply evolution of something that has been around a lot longer than the Bible, written by str8 homophobic men. The Bible isn’t altogether wrong about homosexuality, it’s just certainly and obviously not altogether right. Every good business has nothing but great intentions at the onset, until it doesn’t. The Bible like any large corporation, got laced with lies and corruption. Hey, ah gee what’s new. It’s going on today just like it always has.

Regardless Dr. Brown. You would do much better considering gay people an asset rather than a liability, unless of course you prefer your children grow up like a pack of Phelps monsters eloquently blathering sputem on tv interviews. Your message is the same.

Sex will never zip it up, it’s just a useless venture, and quite a silly use of good quality energy.

You have been taught gay people and their sexual nature are monstrous. That is the big lie. You promote that lie through your meanderings. Your job is to separate truth from lies, yes even in the Bible.

Isn’t it time you took off the mud colored glasses and got real? After all, with your credentials, it would seem you would be far above this type of arrogant irrational behavior.


July 27th, 2009

Can someone please explain to me the symbolism of the anti-gays wearing red shirts?

When I googled “red shirt Army” I wound up with a white paramilitary force active in the Carolinas during Reconstruction after the Civil War. That can’t possibly be what it means in this context.

I’m of an age where I know from WWII what “brown-shirt” means…and it’s not a nice connotation. I’m getting the same feel from “red-shirt”, but hey I’ve been wrong before.

Richard W. Fitch

July 27th, 2009

The ‘troops’ in Charlotte would be very uncomfortable with my association with red shirts. Each year King’s Island amusement park has a special Gay Day and the LGBT attendees all get a special red T-shirt with the date. Boy, would Brown’s group be confounded.


July 27th, 2009


It’s moot point, not mute point. Any person of intelligence knows that. ;-)

Ben in Oakland

July 27th, 2009

Let’s see what we got here, and do a little in house Brown-speak translation:

“The police estimate of our marching group was 400 (as told to my wife by the officer she spoke with), and, as mentioned, we had well over 100 waiting for us at the event when we arrived…In any case, to our knowledge, this was far and away the biggest thing of its kind in conjunction with any gay pride event anywhere before, and since it was backed by weeks of prayer and fasting, we are trusting God for excellent long-term fruit to come out of this.”
Oh my. Long-term fruit? Yes indeedy. but I’m not sure which people are the long-term fruits. A cause of absolute righteousness. G on your side. Weeks of prayer and fasting. and the best you could come up with was 500 people at absolute tops, and according to some estimates, a couple of hundtred at best, many of whom did not want to wear your brown, excuse me, red shirts?

“Our goal was 1,000, which we knew was lofty.” It sounds like you really trusted G, and G really came through with his support. If G were truly interested in your political, social, and religious agenda, there should have been 1000’s of people there, not a highly questionable 500.

No matter how much lipstick you try to put on this religious pig, there will be very few people who do not notice that this dog won’t hunt.

You probably made some money out of this, got a few more supporters. but i would have to say that is the most you accomplished.

Ken R

July 27th, 2009


If I remember correctly the last time I went to Mass, red represented the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ during the Lenten season. They could be wearing red for that same reason. Showing others their belief in the sacrifice upon the Cross.

Of course a sea of red t-shirts would stand out better than a sea of white or black t- shirts.


July 27th, 2009

I’m the organizer for the Greensboro LGBT allies meetup through meetup.com and I was at the pride day festival in Charlotte this weekend.

I didn’t expect the protesters and when I saw them I burst out laughing- after all, I’d seen people like this online, but never in real life (I guess that’s a blessing)

We were told they weren’t allowed in the pride area, but the same police who told us that didn’t blink an eye when at least 50 of them began to stroll over mid afternoon.

I spoke with counter protesters, who held signs like “there is no better way than being human”. “Were they preaching God’s love?” I asked. “Love?” one of the protesters replied, “They were preaching something, but it wasn’t love”. The group told me they had been harassed several times already.

I took some pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faerykisses/sets/72157621843025538/

Feel free to use them for blogging or whatever (pro gay rights ONLY, I don’t want my pictures showing up on hate sites) and please send me a link to where you used them either with flickr mail or in the comments of any of the pictures.


July 27th, 2009

I also wanted to add that, if there were 500, they must have come and gone throughout the day because when I saw them I’d say 200 at best.


July 27th, 2009

reasonrocks, extinction burst- just the phrase i’ve been looking for in other conversations! i didn’t know there was an actual term, but (and i hope we’re talking about the same thing) I was discussing with others how when a group’s numbers begin to dwindle and they know they’re losing they kind of kick and scream more with fanatics coming out of the wood work.. but it’s dying cries at best. I’ll look up the term now! Thank you!


July 27th, 2009

What I don’t understand is why those religious fanatics are allowed to picked a gay pride celebration and gays can’t protest across the street from their revival centers?

If I were there, I would have gone nuts if any of them approached me!

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2009


Of course we CAN protest their revival centers, but we don’t.

We are too respectful of the rights of others to live as they please and are more interested in making peace than declaring “culture war”. And we’re just a heck of a lot classier as well.

Ben in Oakland

July 27th, 2009

beautifully put, timothy. I would add to it just seven words:

We are too respectful of the rights of others to live as they please and are more interested in making peace than declaring “culture war”, and declaring ourselves victims as we attack. And we’re just a heck of a lot classier as well.


July 27th, 2009

Re: “God has a better way”

From Dr. Brown’s “Line of Fire” radio show, June 12, 2009:

Michael Brown: Ok, so last night, I’m at Grand Valley State University, I’m not giving a presentation, I’m not speaking publicly, like I’m used to doing, I’m not even sitting on the panel of, five. One of the panel members was a local pastor, very liberal pastor, seemed like a decent guy, as human beings go, but said [that] we pick a few verses in the Bible against homosexuality and ignore all the other verses about love, etc., and he said there’s an eighty plus year old woman in his congregation, prudish type, and he said she finally got it, you know, how can you tell us some young man, you can never have sex again the rest of your life, which of course, theoretically you’d be telling a homosexual, if you can’t change, you have to be celibate your entire life, that’s rough. Picture telling that to a heterosexual, that’s a tough pill to swallow. Eighteen-nineteen year old person—you’re going to follow Jesus, going to have to be celibate the rest of your life, unless you change. That’s not easy, that’s the very kind of thing we need to be sensitive to. No we don’t change our position, but it should adjust our heart-attitude, shouldn’t it?

Would that be the extent of your “better way,” Dr. Brown?

Richard Rush

July 27th, 2009

Brown wrote:

Our goal was 1,000, which we knew was lofty, but based on the excitement generated by the event and the many excellent conversations our folks had with attendees, we have great expectation for next year’s event. In any case, to our knowledge, this was far and away the biggest thing of its kind in conjunction with any gay pride event anywhere before, and since it was backed by weeks of prayer and fasting, we are trusting God for excellent long-term fruit to come out of this.

Mr. Brown, could you be any more delusional? I particularly enjoyed the “prayer and fasting” part. Is God more inclined to listen when you fast? If so, why? Haven’t Christians been praying about the homo problem for at least 40 years? What will it take for you to realize that there is probably no one listening? And if someone is listening, isn’t it obvious that he/she doesn’t agree with you, or doesn’t care, or is powerless to intervene?

And you seriously “trusting God for excellent long-term fruit?” What has God been doing since Stonewall in 1969? Don’t you see the clear trend? We are winning by a landslide despite your pathetic efforts. I am a fairly excellent long-term fruit. I came out in 1969, and this week my partner and I are celebrating our 28th anniversary. So I’ve pretty much seen it all.

If there were not so many ignorant gullible people inclined to take you seriously, you would be dismissed as a silly, pompous, superstitious, ignorant, bigoted jackass.


July 27th, 2009

Hmm… it would have been an interesting thing to have some MCC or other gay Christian group present to pray for the “God has a better way” group. Perhaps right across the street.

The Lauderdale

July 27th, 2009


Funny – what I thought of was the pop culture “redshirt” trope (which owes its name to “Star Trek).


In this case, though, nobody died.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.