Commentary

Editorial, cartoon skewer claim that Tillis is friend of LGBTQ rights

One of the most remarkable political stories of recent weeks centered on a Washington, DC fundraiser in which a conservative gay rights group known as the American Unity Fund lauded North Carolina’s junior U.S. senator, Thom Tillis, as “a pro-LGBTQ Republican.” It may be that the group has an extremely low bar and, as long as one doesn’t publicly support imprisoning or physically branding LGBTQ people, one can be considered for membership in this rather mysterious “pro-LGBTQ Republican” group.

That said, the folks at the Charlotte Observer are justifiably skeptical about the whole thing. On Monday, the Observer’s fine editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers lampooned the whole idea and then, yesterday, the paper’s lead editorial (“Thom Tillis is no friend of the LGBTQ community”) put it this way:

“Tillis carefully accepted the American Unity Fund praise, saying that ‘I think it probably is the best statement about how I go after politics I care about.’ He didn’t, however, declare whether he actually was a ‘pro-LGBTQ Republican.’

Let’s clarify: He’s not. Time after time, when the LGBTQ community has faced the pain of public discrimination in North Carolina, Tillis has either been silent or an active participant in that pain.

The latter was true in 2012, when then N.C. House Speaker Tillis supported North Carolina’s Amendment One, the last state amendment in the country to ban same-sex marriage. When his ‘friends’ in the LGBTQ community stood to speak of how disheartening it was to be told they were not worthy of marriage, Tillis did not stand with them.

The editorial goes on to point out that Tillis did nothing when his former colleagues in the General Assembly rammed through HB2 and has been almost completely AWOL or affirmatively unhelpful on the subject during his time in Washington.

Here’s the fine conclusion:

“We’re in a golden era of the big political lie, mastered by a president who knows his supporters will believe whatever whoppers he delivers. Get ready for more eye-rollers as election season arrives — like how NC-09 candidate Dan Bishop didn’t knowingly invest in a website that supported hate speech, or how Thom Tillis is a BFF of gays, lesbians and transgender people. The LGBTQ community knows better. So should voters.”

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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