The competition for Phobie of the Year was devilish in 2016, but one man out-hated all the rest. Pat McCrory, the outgoing governor of North Carolina, even outdid Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
At least in Indiana, where Pence was governor, he backed down when business representing millions of dollars threatened to leave the state over its Religious Freedom Restoration Act — also known as a “license to discriminate.” Pence signed a fix to the law so discriminating against LGBT people wasn’t allowed under the RFRA’s protections. In North Carolina, though, even as jobs left the state and performers canceled concerts and millions piled up in lost revenue, McCrory and Republicans refused to rethink what they passed in House Bill 2.
Lawmakers hadn’t approved a RFRA exactly. Instead, they passed a law banning any locality from including LGBT people in antidiscrimination ordinances. In other words, they wanted to ensure that discrimination against LGBT people remains legal no matter where you go in North Carolina. They also barred transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity in any government building, without citing a single incident caused in North Carolina by letting transgender people use the bathroom of their choice.
There’s much more at The Advocate, including the Phobie Finalists:
The Arizona pastor who once said that “if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant” was banned from multiple countries in 2016. The Southern Poverty Law Center long ago named his church — Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe — an antigay hate group. Now Steven Anderson’s reputation precedes him.
There’s always Ted Cruz. The Texas senator and former Phobie of the Year made his best try for president, airing a transphobic TV commercial and reaching out to the most homophobic elements of the party along the way.
The fight in court over transgender rights is being led on the transphobic side by Texas and its attorney general, Ken Paxton.
Where there’s a Ken Paxton, there’s often a Dan Patrick close behind. The Texas lieutenant governor is a noted anti-LGBT figure on his own. But he likes to tag-team with Paxton.
Dubbed “the hate whisperer” of the Republican Party, Tony Perkins was at it again in 2016.
Our favorite new bill is the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE. It was proposed this year in New York’s Erie County as a way of protecting minors from so-called conversion therapy, the kind that has long been supported by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Ben Carson has said LGBT activists use “hate speech ridicule” to silence others, so he’s likely not a fan of being named a Phobie finalist.
This was the year that Phil Robertson fully embraced his transphobia. The Duck Dynasty patriarch actually raised money to pass “bathroom bills” right alongside fundraising for “religious freedom” laws.
Johns Hopkins University is home to one of the most notorious transphobes in the world of junk science: Paul McHugh.
Among the unsung homophobes of the last year is Phil Bryant, who has achieved much more compared to even Pat McCrory or Mike Pence when it comes to passing anti-LGBT legislation. But he manages to slide under the radar, maybe because he’s governor of Mississippi.
Mat & Anita Staver:
There’s a power couple among the anti-LGBT set: Mat and Anita Staver of Liberty Counsel. He’s the group’s lawyer, and she’s president.
Maybe this will be Sally Kern’s last year on the annual list of Phobies. Thanks to term limits, this was her last year in the Oklahoma House of Representatives serving District 84. But Kern — whose most horrible moments we’ve tracked over the years — made sure to deliver on last dig at LGBT people with her farewell address.
Via The Advocate.