North Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has indicated that he has no plans to resign after facing backlash led by a leading LGBT activist group for calling homosexuality “filth.”
Robinson, a Republican, is responding to criticism for describing homosexuality as “filth” during a speech at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, North Carolina. While he made the comments in June, Robinson has faced renewed criticism in recent days, including calls for him to resign.
Addressing the congregation, Robinson remarked that “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth. 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.” The lieutenant governor’s comments were part of a larger conversation about the state of public education in the United States.
Robinson’s comments received backlash from President Joe Biden’s Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates, a North Carolina native, who condemned the lieutenant governor's “repugnant and offensive” language in a statement to The Charlotte Observer.
“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,” he said on behalf of Biden.
State Sen. Jeff Jackson, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for the open U.S. Senate seat next year, went a step further by calling for Robinson’s resignation. “There’s no debate here,” Jackson stated on Twitter Thursday. “This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable. Mark Robinson should resign.”
In a statement published Friday, Joni Madison, the interim president of the LGBT activist group Human Rights Campaign, slammed Robinson’s “disgraceful, hateful statements directed at LGBTQ people.” Maintaining that “North Carolinians deserve better than these dehumanizing comments,” Madison expressed a desire to see Robinson step down, adding, “This is not the first time Robinson has shared his discriminatory views, but it should be the last time he gets away with at as an elected leader.”
Robinson addressed his critics directly in a Facebook video published Saturday. “For several days now, I have been viciously attacked because of a clip video where I talk about removing the sexualization of children from the classrooms in our public education system,” he said.
“Of course, the media and those on the left have tried to change the focus from education to the LGBTQ community, specifically that I hate them,” Robinson added. “Let me be clear: I will fight for and protect the rights of all citizens, including those in the LGBTQ community … to express themselves however they want.”
The lieutenant governor spent the rest of the video reiterating his concerns about the material children are exposed to in public schools. He added, “The idea that children should be taught about the concepts of transgenderism and be exposed to sexually explicit materials in the classroom is abhorrent.”
Robinson specifically expressed concern about a book recommended to elementary school students in North Carolina titled George that tells the story of a “biological boy in elementary school who wants to remove his genitals so he can become a girl.” He also mentioned the book Gender Queer, which a parent in Fairfax County, Virginia, also raised concerns about due to its graphic illustrations of sexual acts.
Noting that the book is “currently in North Carolina schools,” Robinson challenged viewers to describe the explicit photographs, which he shared in the video, as “anything other than filth.” “For those who are calling on me to resign, for those who are saying I don’t represent North Carolina values, let me ask you something: Does forcing these on children represent your values? Do you really believe that these images should be shown in the classroom?” Robinson asked.
Robinson characterized the calls for his resignation as an attempt to “change the argument and silence voices on the right.”
“I will not back down," he continued. "I will not be silent and I will not be bullied into submission. I will continue to fight for the right of our children to receive an education that is free from sexual concepts that do not belong in the classroom.”
In 2020, Robinson was elected lieutenant governor of North Carolina, making him the first African American to hold that position in the state’s history. He narrowly beat his Democratic challenger by securing a margin of victory of 3.2% even as Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper was reelected to a second term.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com