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North Carolina 'Bathroom Bill' Sponsor Backed by Far-Right LGBTQ Group

Dan Bishop and Brian Talbert
From left: Dan Bishop and Brian Talbert

Deplorable Pride, with a history of anti-Muslim statements and ties to Proud Boys, has endorsed Dan Bishop, running in a special congressional election today.

Dan Bishop, the man behind North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2 and now running for the U.S. House, actually has support from one LGBTQ group -- a far-right one with a history of anti-Muslim comments and other bigoted rhetoric.

Bishop, a Republican who faces Democrat Dan McCready in a special election today in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District, has the endorsement of Deplorable Pride, an N.C. group run by Brian Talbert, which calls itself "a conservative LGBT voice," Mother Jones reports.

Talbert has posted virulently anti-Muslim comments on social media, including a desire to "kill every single one of them," a reference to Muslims as "camel fuckers," and the statement "Mohammed sucks cocks in hell," as documented by GLAAD. He has called liberal LGBTQ people "vile" and "disgusting" and described abortion as "genocide." He has voiced opposition to military service by transgender people.

He and his organization have also expressed support for the Proud Boys, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its white nationalist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic statements. Proud Boys members clashed violently with protesters in New York City in 2018 and appeared at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., the previous year. (For the record, Proud Boys leaders say the organization is not racist but simply campaigns for Western values, and they have sued the SPLC over the hate group label.) "Our LBGT organization, Deplorable Pride, will always be an ally to the Proud Boys," Talbert told Big League Politics last year.

Deplorable Pride's application to have a float in the Charlotte Pride parade in 2017 was rejected by organizers, who told The Charlotte Observer, "In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances."

Talbert told Mother Jones he has met with Bishop on several occasions, including a June meeting in which the candidate promised to work with Donald Trump's administration on "decriminalizing homosexuality around the world." Deplorable Pride has tweeted that it would offer Bishop "suggestions on the best way for the Republican party to reach out to the LGBT community and other minorities to show them a better way than the Dems."

Talbert and Deplorable Pride this summer held roadside rallies for Bishop, which he said were organized independently of the campaign, but the candidate's wife, Jo Johnson Bishop, did post a statement of thanks to the group on Facebook. Talbert attended the politician's volunteer appreciation dinner on Labor Day, and the two were photographed together. The Bishop campaign declined comment to Mother Jones about the relationship with Talbert and his group. Deplorable Pride posted on Facebook today that the Mother Jones story is "full of lies" and that the publication is "a left-wing trash rag," but it did not rebut any specific points.

Bishop, currently a state senator, was the chief sponsor of HB 2, which North Carolina legislators passed in 2016 but has since been partially repealed. The measure was known as a "bathroom bill" because it prohibited transgender people from accessing the restrooms and other single-sex facilities comporting with their gender identity, when those facilities are in government buildings, including public schools and state colleges and universities. It also, among other things, prevented city and county governments from enacting or enforcing LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. The state suffered boycotts by businesses, entertainers, and sporting events as a result.

Bishop won the Republican primary in May to face McCready in the Charlotte-area Ninth Congressional District after last November's election, which McCready narrowly lost to anti-LGBTQ Republican Mark Harris, was nullified due to evidence of fraud relating to collection of absentee ballots. McCready is a supporter of LGBTQ rights. There is no incumbent in the race.

Trump appeared at a rally for Bishop Monday in Fayetteville, in which the president accused McCready of "disloyalty" by supporting sanctuary cities, which offer protection to unauthorized immigrants. McCready's campaign has said he does not support sanctuary cities. Deplorable Pride shared photos from the rally on its Facebook page.

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