Metro Weekly

Pro-LGBTQ businesswoman hopes to unseat author of North Carolina’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill”

Beth Monaghan, who has a gay son, is challenging Republican Dan Bishop for his state Senate seat

Beth Monaghan

A pro-LGBTQ businesswoman will challenge the author of North Carolina’s infamous anti-transgender “bathroom bill” for his state Senate seat.

Beth Monaghan, who has a gay son, announced last week that she will challenge Republican incumbent Dan Bishop for the GOP nomination. Bishop authored and co-sponsored HB 2, which eliminated protections for LGBTQ citizens and restricted access to public restrooms for transgender individuals.

Monaghan, 58, told Yahoo News that she is running on “the values that my senator has forgotten about.”

Bishop is “not focused on individual dignity, on freedom, economic development [and] the virtues of limited government,” Monaghan said, adding that she is “not sure everybody knows” that Bishop authored HB 2.

Bishop led efforts to pass HB 2, and its replacement, the faux repeal law House Bill 142, that removed the bathroom component but kept anti-LGBTQ laws in place.

Monaghan’s son, Jordan, said he “couldn’t be happier” that his mother was running for the state Senate, specifically calling out Bishop’s HB 2 bill for targeting “our LGBTQ family.”

HB 2 was estimated to lose over three billion dollars for the state, including the loss of PayPal’s expansion into Charlotte.

Monaghan wrote about losing the company’s business in an op-ed for The Charlotte Observer, in which she also mentioned Jordan.

“When HB2 attempted to undermine our city’s commitment to equal rights, many businesses took a stand against hateful and unsubstantiated rhetoric emanating from Raleigh,” she wrote in her editorial. “Unfortunately, this disconnected piece of legislation cost our city and state millions of dollars as employers remained steadfast in their support of the LGBTQ community.”

Monaghan plans to continue to support the rights of LGBTQ citizens through the election.

“Too many flee from defending this and other fundamental rights,” Bishop’s website says. “I will not shirk this responsibility, but will pursue balance and protection for all, without aiming to provoke or foment needless controversy.”

Former Governor Pat McCrory lost his re-election bid in part due to the negative backlash the bill created. With only a part of the bill remaining, Monaghan wants to see it all stripped away.

“I wish it had never happened. 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,” she told Yahoo News. “But I really would like to see the whole thing repealed.”

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