North Carolina state Sen. Dan Bishop (R) once compared his efforts to roll back anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community to Oskar Schindler rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during World War II.
Bishop, a U.S House candidate running against Democrat Dan McCready in a special election for North Carolina’s 9th District, exchanged in March 2017 several emails with a lawyer representing Alliance Defending Freedom, a hardline anti-LGBTQ organization that the Southern Poverty Law center designated as a “hate group.”
The emails were about amending the state’s controversial House Bill 2, aka the “bathroom bill” that prohibited trans people from using bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity. By March 2017, the state legislature had been pressured to somewhat repeal the bill, which is what Bishop was discussing with the ADF lawyer.
The lawyer, Kellie Fiedorek, took issue with Bishop’s proposed language shielding one’s “act of expressive creativity” from accusations of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
“Whom are we attempting to protect here? Just creative professionals?” Fiedorek asked.
“As Oscar [sic] Schindler said, as many as we can,” Bishop responded.
In an emailed statement to TPM on Tuesday, McCready called on his GOP rival to apologize and “end his hateful rhetoric.”
“It’s bad enough for Senator Bishop to push his extreme policies that cost North Carolina thousands of jobs, but it’s shocking and hurtful for him to compare his work to rescuing Jews from the Holocaust,” the Democratic candidate said.
The LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign slammed Bishop’s “misinformed and downright disgusting” comparison on Tuesday.
“But equally as troubling are his close ties these released emails show with anti-LGBTQ extremists,” HRC associate campaign director Hope Jackson said in a statement.
This story has been updated to include the HRC and McCready’s response.