‘I Don’t Fear Man. I Fear God.’: Email Reveals HB2 Has Some Religious Roots


North Carolina Lawmaker Reveals Why He Refuses to Support Repeal of Anti-LGBT Law HB2

North Carolina State Representative Dan Bishop introduced HB2, the so-called "bathroom bill" that set off a national debate about the rights of transgender people. Unlike most anti-LGBT legislation, the text of HB2 does not position it as a "religious freedom" law, but an email sent by the bill's chief sponsor and purported author exposes its religious roots.

A public records request by the Charlotte Business Journal uncovered an email sent by Rep. Bishop on April 5, just two weeks after HB2 was passed and signed into law, and soon after PayPal announced its decision not to expand to the state because of the law.

"I don't fear man. I fear God," Bishop said in an email sent to a Charlotte resident, suggesting he believed the bill was somehow necessary for religious reasons."So I won't be backing down, and the good news is that right now the GOP caucuses in the House and Senate are hanging tough."

HB2 passed through the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, all on March 23. The law, which has been labeled both illegal and unconstitutional, bans transgender individuals from using the public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

In the same email, Bishop said, "The best hope is that Phil Berger (NC Senate President Pro Tempore) has nerves of steel, and because of that, I am pretty confident that the Senate will not be changing that law. At least not in this session."

Backlash from HB2 has caused several companies to cancel planned expansions or pull business from the state. Lionsgate canceled a planned production shoot and Stephen Schwartz halted all productions of the musical "Wicked" over the bill. PayPal and Deutsche Bank canceled expansion plans in North Carolina. Several performers including Bruce Springsteen and Maroon 5 canceled performances in the state while others donated proceeds from their concerts to charity.

HB2 was introduced in response to a Charlotte ordinance adding LGBT protections to existing laws protecting against discrimination in the city. Bishop condemned the ordinance when it was introduced, saying in a news release, "A small group of far-out progressives should not presume to decide for us all that a cross dresser's liberty to express his gender nonconformity trumps the right of women and girls to peace of mind."

The state is being sued by the Department of Justice for violating Title VII with HB2, which they say is equivalent to sex discrimination. The ACLU is also suing Governor Pat McCrory over the law.

Bishop seemed to have expected some backlash after HB2 was passed. "I stepped in front of the train quite deliberately, but the beating is every bit as bad as I expected, and then some. I need the Lord's help and your prayers." Bishop also wrote in the email.



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Image: Screenshot via Dan Bishop/YouTube

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