When Republican leaders were running away from HB2, Sen. Dan Bishop turned to one of the world’s worst anti-gay hate groups
In response to a public records request Real Facts NC submitted in May, Sen. Bishop provided records of his communication with lobbyists from Alliance for Defending Freedom. Huffington Post first wrote on Bishop’s contacts with ADF.
ADF is a C3 nonproft that funds legal and legislative work promoting LGBTQ discrimination. The group provided legal defense for a law in Belize that criminalized homosexuality with up to ten years in prison. Not surprisingly, ADF defended NC’s HB2 “bathroom bill” with a video and praised Pat McCrory for supporting the bill. The group also tried to convince NC Registers of Deeds they were allowed to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2014 ADF helped write legislation in Arizona that permitted businesses to discriminate against gay customers that sounds similar to a bill they were drafting with Bishop here in 2017.
In March of 2017, Bishop along with former Rep. Skip Stam, NC Values Coalition’s Tami Fitzgerald, and Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) exchanged emails while working on what appears to be an attempt to add “religious exemptions” language to HB142, the HB2 repeal bill. The language would have allowed NC business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ people. In one email, Bishop referenced an Oskar Schindler quote to clarify he wants to allow as many people as possible to discriminate against LGBTQ North Carolinians.
Schindler, famously portrayed in the film Schindler’s List, was a Nazi credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jewish people during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. Schindler is quoted as saying he wanted to save “as many as I can,” from the Nazis. Bishop used this reference to explain that he hoped a “religious exemption” law would apply to as many people as possible.
Bishop’s public affiliation with ADF does not come as a surprise to those who followed his ties to Gab, a social media platform used by white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The man who shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg was a Gab user.
According to his response letter, Bishop did not consider the records Real Facts NC requested to be actual public records, but chose to provide these email exchanges anyway. His response provides more evidence that Bishop has aligned himself with groups so far to the right that he does not have any issue publicly coordinating with hate groups.