North Carolina 9th District Republican candidate Dan Bishop at an election night party on September 10 in Monroe, North Carolina. (Brian Blanco/Getty)
Dan Bishop, the North Carolina legislator and lead sponsor of the notorious ‘bathroom bill’, has won a congressional seat in a narrow victory over his Democratic opponent.
A special district election was held as the 2018 election was nullified due to allegations of voter fraud on behalf of the Republican candidate Mark Harris, an anti-LGBT+ minister.
Harris stepped down and Bishop ran in his place with a campaign supporting Trump’s border wall, gun ownership, Christian values and a ban on late-term abortions.
Bishop won the Republican stronghold by just under two points – 50.6 percent to 48.8 percent – having gained supporters in the staunchly Conservative state over his backing of the ‘bathroom bill’.
Also known as HB2, the bathroom bill was signed into law in North Carolina in 2016, forcing trans people to use toilets in accordance with the gender marked on their birth certificate.
Cirque du Soleil cancelled all its events in North Carolina, while other performers such as Mumford and Sons and Cyndi Lauper said they would donate their profits from North Carolina gigs to LGBT+ rights organisations.
A federal lawsuit was launched by civil rights groups,and the law was struck down in July this year with a judge ruling that trans and non-binary people in North Carolina must be allowed to use the public bathrooms of their choice.
During the campaign it emerged that Harris previously likened his efforts to undermine LGBT+ rights via religious exemptions to the work of Oskar Schindler, who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
He made the shocking comparison in a series of emails obtained by liberal news site Real Facts NC, which show he was also floating language for a religious exemption, or “conscience clause”, to permit LGBT+ discrimination.
Surprisingly, Harris’ election campaign had the endorsement of one far-right LGBT+ group, Deplorable Pride. The group’s leader has previously called liberal LGBT+ people “vile” and “disgusting” and described abortion as “genocide”.