CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sen. Dan Bishop, the man called the “Architect of HB2,” for crafting and sponsoring the anti-LGBTQ law that nulified non-discrimination ordinances in North Carolina, will face a primary challenger.
Beth Monaghan is running against him explicitly in opposition to House Bill 2, and its replacement, the so-called repeal law House Bill 142, that maintains that anti-LGBTQ status quo in place. Cities and municipalities still have to run non-discrimination ordinances and bathroom and locker room policies past the state’s Republican controlled General Assembly.
“I wish it had never happened,” she told Yahoo News. “Our brand wouldn’t be damaged. We wouldn’t have lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe we could pay our teachers more. Our infrastructure would be stronger. But the damage has been done. But I really would like to see the whole thing repealed.”
To her point, LGBTQ rights advocates launched an initiative this month to encourage Amazon to not place its headquarters in Raleigh due to the state’s lack of protections for the LGBTQ community.
Monaghan has lived in Charlotte for most of her life, and in 2013 sold the accounting business she started in 1996.
She told Yahoo News that Bishop is “not focused on individual dignity, on freedom, economic development [and] the virtues of limited government.”
“Shared values seem to be missing, and this senator needs to be held accountable,” she added.
Last year, the Associated Press estimated that the state could lose billions in its zeal for anti-LGBTQ laws, and the UCLA School of Law’s William Institute has researched the issue and come to the same conclusion.
While it is no easy task to unseat an incumbent with name recognition in a primary, Monaghan could be helped by the fact that the state allows unaffiliated voters to vote in the primary of their choice.
She said Bishop is “uncompromising on a social agenda no matter what the cost,” and that the legislation he wrote was driven by fear that “if [they] give on a right or a privilege to a group that doesn’t impact [them], something’s going to be taken from [them].”
“The conversation [around gay rights and religious liberty concerns] needs to be brought back to being collaborative and engaging and coming from a place of respect,” she concluded.