North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest says his state faced “corporate attack” during the bathroom bill controversy that exposed how businesses were more concerned about corporate politics than LGBT issues, according to an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
North Carolina faced backlash with economic and political warfare waged by radical left-wing activists after the state’s legislature enacted HB2 in 2016. The bill rejected the idea of gender fluidity in the case of governments setting bathroom policies that would allow men to enter women’s bathroom and showers.
What Forest found during the legal battle was a deficit of backbone, character and integrity amongst corporate leaders, according to this interview. One CEO told him that, although he agreed with Forest substantively, “We just don’t want the Human Rights Campaign coming against us.”
“You need to know how to defend what you believe in,” Forest says. “You’ll never be right by doing the wrong thing, and you’ll never go wrong by doing the right thing.”
Forest saw how political, not substantive, the issue was for companies that partnered with progressives. Some of those companies still “operate in countries that not only persecute the LGBT community,” Forest says. “They execute the LGBT community.”
Decrying the ad hominem attacks and smears in social media or elsewhere, Forest says, “[The] very definition of a ‘bigot’ means you’re ignorant of the truth about what somebody else believes. In saying that, they’re the ones that are actually bigoted.”
Forest himself appears to have been rewarded for his bold stance, being re-elected by more than 300,000 votes last November. Though former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory was defeated, many believe there were several contributing reasons for that loss.
North Carolina’s economy did not suffer from the culture battle, according to Forest, and President Donald Trump won the state. Of the 89 GOP state legislators who voted for HB2, 87 were re-elected.
In this video, Forest also discussed the advice he would give Trump, his work to resurrect free speech on campuses, political courage and his mother.
Forest is the son of former Rep. Sue Myrick, a popular public official who was the first female mayor of Charlotte and the first Republican woman to represent North Carolina in Congress. Forest had no plans to be in politics when he pursued a successful career in architecture, but he felt drawn to public service and now is getting national recognition for standing up to the cultural bullies using thuggish tactics.
Forest was in the Washington, D.C. area May 19 to receive the “Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism & Religious Liberty” award from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Videographer Sean Moody is credited with the video work for this piece.
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