Dan Bishop, the former state senator behind North Carolina’s infamous 2016 bathroom bill (HB2), is now a U.S. Congressman.
So basically, North Carolina held a special election last night because state Republicans cheated so heavily during the 2018 midterm elections that the North Carolina State Board of Elections had to invalidate those results and call for a do-over.
So this Repugnican Dan Bishop beat his Democratic challenger Dan McCready last night by 3,397 votes (a margin of barely two percent), meaning that he’ll serve as a U.S. House representative in the Republican minority until 2020.
Bishop’s defining piece of LGBTQ legislation is HB2, a bill which forced trans people to only use public restrooms matching the gender listed on their birth certificates. The law cost North Carolina millions after businesses refused to invest in the state after passing such a blatantly transphobic law.
But Bishop gets even worse. He helped found Gab, the Twitter-alternative that proudly allows white supremacists and neo–Nazis to spread their hate in a conservative echo chamber. He has since said that he considers Black Lives Matter protestors to be no different from white supremacists: “Both violent, racist movements,” he wrote. He also considers LGBTQ people to be as bad as the Taliban.
Out magazine notes, “In a fundraising email cited by the Charlotte Observer, [Bishop] referred to basic equality for trans people as the ‘radical transgender agenda.’ He also co-sponsored North Carolina’s attempt at passing an Indiana-style ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act'” that would allow Christians to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.
And then there’s this:
Bishop introduced a “campus free speech” bill that would have made it easier to punish students at publicly funded colleges for demonstrating on campus, while simultaneously rewriting the definition of “harassment” on college campuses in a way that would make it legal to discriminate against minorities, women, and individuals who identified as LGBTQ. And this spring, he sponsored a bill that would have both armed public school teachers and give them the authority to arrest their own students.
And now he’s a U.S. congressman.
The only silver lining on this depressing story is that Bishop only won by two percent in a heavily Republican (and heavily gerrymandered) district that voted for Trump in 2016 by a 12-point margin, meaning that the Republican dominance there has shrunk by a large margin, possibly forecasting GOP troubles in the 2020 election.
In the meanwhile, we’ll have to endure Bishop and Trump’s continued anti-queer politics until we can boot them both out.