A Republican North Carolina senator Dan Bishop wishes to make it a crime to call Pat McCrory, or any other present or former governor, a ‘bigot’.
This weekend, McCrory was chased down an alley by protestors in Washington DC who shouted ‘Shame you anti-gay bigot!’
The measure would make it a crime to ‘threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties’.
Bishop put forward the bill as a response to the protest video, calling on on North Carolina ‘to take other appropriate steps to guarantee the personal safety of Governor McCrory by all necessary means’, according to the Charlotte Observer.
ACLU state policy director Sarah Gillooly stressed the First Amendment gives every American the right to protest.
‘People’s right to criticize politicians – whether in a newspaper, at a meeting, or on a public street – is the very heart of what the First Amendment protects,’ she said.
‘Everyone deserves protection from violence, but politicians who run for and serve in public office shouldn’t get special treatment to shield them from criticism’.
Outside the Capital Hilton, McCrory and several minutes of his group were cornered by protestors repeatedly shouting ‘shame’ for several minutes.
North Carolina lost millions of dollars due to company boycotts over HB2, and many artists said they would not perform there until it was repealed.
Ricky Diaz, a McCrory spokesman, issued a comment saying: ‘It’s regrettable that up to a few dozen protesters decided to stalk and shout insults at the governor and police when we should all be listening to each other and coming together as a country in a respectful manner.
‘Governor McCrory is thankful to Lou Dobbs for helping during this incident, and very thankful to the D.C. police for keeping everyone safe during a very successful inaugural weekend.’
Watch the video here: