The Republican lieutenant governor of North Carolina, Mark Robinson, is facing calls for his resignation after a video surfaced showing him describing the LGBTQ community as “filth.”
Robinson commented while speaking at the Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove during a visit in June, local NBC affiliate WRAL reported
“I’m saying this now, and I’ve been saying it, and I don’t care who likes it: Those issues have no place in a school. There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality — any of that filth,” Robinson said. The video was first shared by Right Wing Watch, a project of the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way.
He added, “And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like it that I called it filth, come see me, and I’ll explain it to you. It’s time for us to stop letting these children be abused in schools, and it’s not going to happen til the people of God stand up and demand different, same ones that established those schools, to begin with.”
One of the words Robinson used was “transgenderism,” a word that has been adopted by anti-transgender activists to explains being transgender as a condition, according to the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD.
In an email, John Wesley Waugh, a spokesperson for Robinson, said that the lieutenant governor’s comments “refer to education,” NBC News reported.
“Topics surrounding transgenderism and homosexuality should be discussed at home and not in public education,” Waugh said. “We must focus on reading, writing, and mathematics in North Carolina. Our students have struggled with these topics even before the pandemic. Our primary focus needs to be helping our students succeed, not on topics that should be discussed at home.”
When asked whether Robinson thought his comments were anti-LGBTQ, Waugh said that Robinson “affirms every individual’s constitutional right to identify or express themselves in any way they desire.”
Waugh added, “He is the lieutenant governor for all North Carolinians and will fight for and protect the rights of all citizens. His comments were referring to teaching about these topics in the classroom, not about individuals of the LGBTQ community.”
Robinson is second in command in North Carolina and would fill in if Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, left the state or his position. Robinson narrowly beat Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley in 2020 with 51.6 percent of the vote to Holley’s 48.4 percent.
Robinson’s comments were “abhorrent,” according to a statement emailed to NBC News by Gov. Cooper’s press secretary, Jordan Monaghan.
“North Carolina is a welcoming state where we value public education and the diversity of our people. It’s abhorrent to hear anyone, and especially an elected official, use hateful rhetoric that hurts people and our state’s reputation,” the statement reads.
North Carolina State Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate, called for Robinson’s resignation in a tweet. “Calling many of your own constituents ‘filth’ means you have no intention of representing them. Our Lt. Governor should resign and allow someone who is prepared to do the job to take his place. This wasn’t a dog whistle, folks. This was old school hate.”
Robinson got some support on Twitter.
“I have much respect for this Brotha and his strong stance” kwazic021@kwazic021 tweeted.
Telace Johnson@atsutton_biggz tweeted, “In high school we had to get a permission slip signed for sex ed…why should this be different”.
Hakeem @HakHinton tweeted, “An outspoken blk man. He is on the mainstream white media hit list now. I hope he doesn’t back down.”
Other Twitter users expressed outrage.
“How much more embarrassment must NC endure. Mark Robinson must resign! I am tired of the hate expressed by political leaders,” tweeted Chris Lefevre @writerunblocked.
Robinson’s critics say he has a history of making anti-LBGQT remarks.
After the 2016 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Robinson wrote on Facebook, “I pray for the souls of all those killed, healing for all those wounded, and comfort for the family members of the terrorist shooting in Orlando. However, homosexuality is STILL an abominable sin and I WILL NOT join in ‘celebrating gay pride’ nor will I fly their sacrilegious flag on my page,” AP reported.
Robinson also slammed a National Geographic magazine cover titled “Gender Revolution” that showed a 9-year-old transgender child. He wrote, “The sick, deranged, sexual degenerates who promote this type of demonic behavior are the ones who will take the next step in our continuing moral decline toward total depravity. Free love, then homosexuality.”
And in 2017, Robinson wrote, “You CAN NOT love God and support the homosexual agenda.”
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