In an appearance on a local radio program last Tuesday, North Carolina Republican Dan Forest claimed that he had “plenty of friends from the LGBT community,” despite his lengthy record as an anti-LGBT lawmaker in N.C., including past support of a bill that would have banned people who are transgender from using the bathroom of their choice.
“And I have plenty of friends from the LGBT community,” Forest said on WUNC Radio on Nov. 12. “And so reaching out is certainly a two-way street there. Nobody’s reached out to me and said how can we help. But there’s never been an antagonistic attitude there. There’s never been a negative word spoken. So some people may say that, but they’d never find anything that I’ve said.”
Yet, Forest was widely seen as a leading advocate for the highly controversial bill HB2 — which would have effectively banned transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice — during his ongoing tenure as Lieutenant Gov. in N.C.
In 2016, Forest claimed that supporting laws that allow transgender people to choose their own bathroom would give “pedophiles, sex offenders and perverts free rein to watch women, boys and girls undress and use the bathroom.” And again in 2016, Forest was quoted in the Charlotte Observer stating, “Transgenderism is a feeling… it could be a feeling just for the day.”
Ultimately, the bill Forest repeatedly touted was partially repealed due to its negative impact on N.C.’s economy. An Associated Press analysis found that the Forest-supported bathroom bill would have cost N.C. businesses an estimated $3.76 billion over the course of 12 years.
With a historical record of sharply opposing LGBT rights in N.C., it remains unclear which — if any– LGBT friends Forest was on the record recently referencing.