A Republican Congressional candidate invoked Oskar Schindler with reference to his own anti-LGBTQIA+ legislative work, according to a report in the Huffington Post.
As a North Carolina State Senator, Dan Bishop attempted to establish a loophole in anti-discrimination legislation by declaring that North Carolina residents could be exempt from state laws if they felt that homophobia or transphobia were in line with their “dictates of conscience concerning religion in connection with an act of expressive creativity.”
In an email, Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which was working with Bishop on the legislation, asked Bishop “whom are we attempting to protect here?” Bishop replied, “As Oscar Schindler said, as many as we can.”
Bishop was referencing a German factory-owner who famously saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. The reference is especially ironic because Bishop himself invested in Gab, a social media website known for hosting anti-Semites, including the shooter who murdered 11 people in an assault on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year.
The exchange between Bishop and Fiedorek occurred in the wake of efforts to repeal a 2016 law that Bishop co-authored prohibiting trans people from using the public restrooms of their gender identities.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alliance is a hate group that has worked to criminalize homosexuality worldwide and has “defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad.” Last year, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered an address to the group’s “Summit on Religious Liberty,” thanking them on Donald Trump’s behalf and citing several ways in which the Trump administration was working to support their cause.
Benjamin Gladstone is an intern at the Forward. Contact him by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @bensgladstone