NC GOP Lawmaker Equates LGBTQ Equality Movement to Nazis

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday July 11, 2019

A special election in North Carolina in September will determine who will take the Congressional seat left vacant after the initial winner in last year's midterms, Mark Harris, stepped away following allegations of election fraud perpetrated on behalf of his campaign by Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political consultant. Harris has maintained that he know nothing of Dowless' alleged tampering. A bipartisan Board of Elections unanimously threw out the election's results and called for a new election. Harris opted not to run again.

Instead, the GOP candidate running against Democrat Dan McCready will be State Sen. Dan Bishop. But newly unearthed emails reported on by Real Facts NC indicate that Bishop worked with anti-LGBTQ organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group for its extremist anti-LGBTQ views and efforts.

Media reports recalled that the ADF has sought to put anti-gay laws on the books in a number of states, and even in other countries. Bishop's collaboration with ADF took place even as North Carolina lawmakers were crafting legislation to repeal the state's infamous "Bathroom Bill," HB2, which targeted trans people but also banned cities from putting their own anti-discrimination laws into place. Bishop sponsored the disastrous legislation; the state was hard hit by economic sanctions from businesses and other legislative bodies. But even as North Carolina's lawmakers scrambled to repeal HB2, Bishop was working with ADF to find new ways to marginalize the state's LGBTQ citizens, Real Facts NC reported.

Bishop's emails with ADF were a point of concern overall, but Real Facts NC zeroed in on Bishop's comparison of his own anti-LGBTQ efforts with the work that German industrialist Oskar Schindler did during the Nazi atrocities. Schindler is credited with saving around 1,200 Jews, even though he was himself a member of the Nazi party.

News site Friendly Atheist offered more specifics about the email exchange, reporting that Bishop was working hand in hand with the hate group to find new ways to make life harder for sexual minorities. One idea under discussion was the creation of a so-called "conscience clause" that would provide cover for anyone wishing to discriminate against LGBTQs.

The Huffington Post details how Bishop was queried by ADF counsel Kellie Fiedorek as to how broadly the application should reach.

"Whom are we attempting to protect here?" Fiodorek asked, "Just creative professionals?" — such as, for instance, bakers or other vendors who might argue in court that their wares are a form of free expression.

Bishop reportedly responded, "As Oskar Schindler said, as many as we can."

Because, of course, LGBTQ equality is pretty much the same thing as a totalitarian state that purveys oppression and genocide... at least, that is, in the same imaginations that cook up endless prurient fantasies of LGBTQ people engaging in wild sexual escapades, and then use those overheated fictions as excuses to harm people and their families in the real world.

A spokesperson for Bishop's campaign told The Huffington Post that Bishop explained himself in greater detail in a subsequent email, in which he postulated, "Define the right too broadly, bad actors go free by cynical claims of religious belief. Define narrowly enough to protect the people likeliest to be targeted by the real haters."

North Carolina's special election is September 10. The Huffington Post noted that Bishop has previously come under scrutiny over money he invested in a social media platform known for it popularity with white supremacists and other extremists.

McCready, a veteran who is known for his work in the field of renewable energy, had also faced off against Harris. In May, a poll showed McCready ahead of Bishop by only four points, despite having vastly outclassed Bishop in fundraising.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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