N.C. Republican Lt. governor draws backlash for calling LGBTQ+ education ‘filth’

Mark Robinson, a Black Republican who was speaking in church, faces growing calls to resign after video was shared by advocacy group

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Lt. Governor Mark Robinson of North Carolina is facing calls for his resignation after a video of him disparaging the LGBTQ+ community recently surfaced.

North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson
(Photo: Right Wing Watch/Twitter)

Robinson, a Black Republican, was speaking at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, N.C., when he referred to transgenderism and homosexuality as “filth.” 

The video was shared by Right Wing Watch, a project of the left-leaning advocacy group, People For the American Way. 

“There is no reason anybody, anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, or any of that filth,” Robinson said to applause from the congregation, according to WRAL. “And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like it that I called it filth, come see me about it.”

One state senator, Jeff Jackson — a Democrat who represents Mecklenburg — addressed the remarks on Twitter saying, “North Carolina’s Lt. Governor, Mark Robinson, just angrily referred to the LGBTQ community as “filth.” Then he says, “Yes, I called it filth.” There’s no debate here. This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable. Mark Robinson should resign.” 

Jackson, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat, added, “This fits a pattern from him. He’s made many openly hateful and discriminatory comments about the LGBTQ community and Jewish people. When asked about it, he always doubles down.”

The comments even earned a response from White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates, who called Robinson’s comments “repugnant and offensive.”

Bates added, “The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone, not to spread hate and undermine their own office.” 

Democrat North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office issued a statement on Friday in which a spokesperson called the comments, “abhorrent.” 

Governor Roy Cooper
Governor Roy Cooper, D-NC address the crowd during the Rally for Respect outside the North Carolina Legislative Building on May 16, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

“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,” spokesman Jordan Monaghan said.

Yet, Robinson persisted. On Friday he addressed the comments saying, “We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We will not change our language,” Robinson said. “The language I used, I am not ashamed of it. I will use it in the future because, again, it is time for parents in this state to take a strong stand for their children.”

Robinson said that the governor’s remarks, “makes no difference whatsoever.” 

“I am tired of folks on the right being demonized for our speech, while folks on the left burn, beat, rob, loot — take over entire cities and get a pass,” he added. 

North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson
North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson. (Photo: State of North Carolina)

In an interview, Robinson said, “To me, it is against the tenets of my religion,” referring to homosexuality and transgenderism. “But we do not live in a theocracy, and I do not have the right to tell anyone what they practice in their home.”

He continued, saying that teaching about those subjects in public schools should be “absolutely off-limits.” 

“Those are adult topics that should stay in an adult place. They have no business around children. Homosexuality is not a culture. Homosexuality is a sexual preference, and sexual preferences, I believe, do not need to be discussed in our schools,” Robinson said.

Last week, Robinson made similar comments at a celebration for the 10th anniversary of the conservative group, North Carolina Values Coalition. He said parents should stand up against school boards that are “pushing these perverted agendas, to try to teach our children that they’re really not boys or girls, or they’re shoving this homosexuality garbage down their throats.”

Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said in a statement, “At a time when LGBTQ people, especially those with multiple layers of marginalization, need a supportive state, Robinson offered transphobia and homophobia instead. No one who thinks like this should be in a position of power, and these discriminatory attitudes underscore the need for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections in North Carolina.”

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