A “God and Country” forum hosted Thursday by an anti-LGBT Michigan body shop owner ended in disaster as protesters challenged a parade of conservative crackpots denouncing homosexuality, the media, and President Barack Obama.
Brian Klawiter, who gained Internet fame in April after posting a Facebook rant against servicing cars owned by gay people, invited anti-LGBT activists to harangue community members for nearly four hours at an event center in Jensen, reported MLive.
“We are in the mess we are in because we have stopped talking about our sin in school,” said “Coach” Dave Daubenmire, who lost a legal battle against the ACLU over forcing high school football players to pray with him.
“You were raised with biblical values — this generation has not,” Daubenmire said over jeers.
Klawiter encouraged audience participation, and protesters repeatedly questioned the speakers’ assertions and periodically chanted “gay is OK.”
At one point, a verbal disagreement turned physical when a Klawiter supporter positioned against the stage to defend the speakers put his hands on protester Bev Pels’ face.
Deputies escorted the man and then Pels out of the Jenisen Center for the Arts, but no charges were filed.
Protesters said they were upset that Klawiter held the event at a building operated by the public school, but school officials said they had no control over the event’s content.
Republican National Committee member and former state representative Dave Agema, who is probably best known for his offensive Facebook posts, repeated some bogus statistics on homosexuality that led Democrats and Republicans alike to demand his resignation.
Klawiter told the crowd about growing up in foster care after his parents’ divorce, saying his story showed that determination and Christian faith can overcome any difficulty.
Controversial youth minister Bradlee Dean, who sued Rachel Maddow for suggesting he agreed with Muslim laws against homosexuality, ranted for at least an hour and a half against what he believes is anti-religious indoctrination in public schools.
The so-called “heavy metal minister” repeatedly referred to the president by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, and showed purported photos of aborted fetuses on an overhead screen.
After protesters challenged his claims, Dean told them to shut their “pie holes” and dismissed them as “McDonaldland kiddies.”
After the event, dozens of protesters waved rainbow flags, sang, and danced.
“They’re not loving speakers — they’re not there to send a positive message,” said Naomi Goedert, who protested the event. “They’re there to preach hate.”
Watch this video report posted online by WOOD-TV: