North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson is facing pressure to resign after a video surfaced showing him describing the LGBTQ community as “filth.”
The video, which was first shared by progressive advocacy group Right Wing Watch, shows the Republican vice state executive speaking at the Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove during a June visit.
“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,” he said. “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 till the people of God stand up and demand different, same ones that established those schools to begin with.”
In addition to the offensive “filth” comment, Robinson also deployed the usage of the word “transgenderism,” which GLAAD states is commonly used by anti-transgender activists to make being trans sound like a condition.
Robinson spokesperson John Wesley Waugh said in an email to NBC News that the lieutenant governor’s comments “refer to education.”
“Topics surrounding transgenderism and homosexuality should be discussed at home and not in public education,” he 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 pressed over whether Robinson has any response for his critics, Waugh said Robinson “affirms every individual’s Constitutional right to identify or express themselves in any way they desire.”
He 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.”
Numerous state senators have called on Robinson to resign, calling his remarks discriminatory.
“There’s no debate here. This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable,” Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat representing North Carolina’s 37th District — which includes Charlotte, tweeted in-part. “Mark Robinson should resign.”
State Sen. Wiley Nickel, a Democrat representing the state’s 16th District, which includes Raleigh and Durham, also called for Robinson to resign.
“I stand with the LGBTQ Community and hope you will join me in condemning this hate speech from the most senior Republican elected official in our state,” Nickel tweeted Friday (October 8).