ASHEVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has doubled down after his comments calling transgenderism and homosexuality “filth” drew widespread rebukes and calls for him to resign.
Robinson, a Republican made these comments at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove in June.
“There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” he told the audience. “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.”
Robinson currently holds the second highest office in the state. If Gov. Roy Cooper has never been able to fulfill his duties.
His words went viral last week after the group Right Wing Watch tweeted a clip of his speech. In recent days, scores of advocacy groups and politicians – from Raleigh to the White House – have denounced what Robinson said.
“These words are repugnant and offensive,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement Oct. 8. “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.”
In his tweet calling on Robinson to resign, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, who also is running for U.S. Senate, wrote: “There’s no debate here. It is discrimination. It is completely unacceptable.”
Robinson was also sought out by the Human Rights Campaign.
Robinson stands by what he said. When asked by WRAL in an interview last week if he would use a different word besides “filth,” he said, “Absolutely not.”
His comments were defended by him, who claimed he was just referring specifically to teaching LGBTQ issues in public school classrooms.
“That is in reference to introducing it to children in the classroom,” Robinson told WRAL, adding that “in our public schools, it has no place.”
Similar comments were made Oct. 1, at a celebration of the North Carolina Values Coalition’s anniversary.
“And they’re 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,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Mark Walker posted Monday on Facebook, supporting Robinson, writing, “Lt. In describing sexualization of children at public schools, Governor Mark Robinson has 100% accuracy. It is filthy content, but the agenda is just as filthy.”
Robinson is very concerned with what school children are being taught. In March, he launched a “fairness and accountability” task force called F.A.C.T.S aimed at “exposing indoctrination in the classroom.” The task force’s online portal allowed parents to report alleged instances of indoctrination in K-12 classrooms.
When she first heard Robinson’s comment, Allison Scott of the Asheville-based nonprofit Campaign for Southern Equality said her thoughts went to LGBTQ young people who are experiencing prejudice because of their identities.
“For some of them, it starts taking away their hope that things are going to change or even can change,” said Scott, who is transgender. “And that’s scary.”
Scott said Robinson’s words show why more local governments should support LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinances.
Brian Gordon is a statewide reporter with the USA TODAY Network in North Carolina. You can reach him via email at [email protected] and on Twitter @briansamuel92