ASHEVILLE, NC – His words have been doubled after North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson called for widespread condemnation and resignation by calling sexism and homosexuality “filthy.”
Robinson, a Republican, gave these views at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove in June.
“Nobody anywhere in America has any reason to tell any child about sexism, homosexuality, any dirt,” he told the audience. “Yes, I call it ugly. And if you don’t like me calling it ugly, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.”
Robinson holds the state’s second-highest post, and he will be in office if Governor Roy Cooper is unable to perform his duties.
His words went viral last week after the right-wing watch group tweeted footage of his speech. Nowadays, groups of lawyers and politicians – from Raleigh to the White House – have denounced what Robinson has said.
“These words are offensive and offensive,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in an Oct. 8 statement. “The role of a leader is to unite people and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hatred and undermine their own office.
In his tweet calling for Robinson to resign, State Sen. Jeff Jackson, who is running for US Senate, wrote: “There is no debate here. This is open discrimination. This is completely unacceptable.”
When she first heard Robinson’s response, Allison Scott of the Asheville-based nonprofit Campaign for Southern Equality said her thoughts went toward LGBTQ youth experiencing prejudice because of their identities.
“For some of them, the hope that things will change or change will begin to alienate,” Lingayata Scott said. “And it’s horrible.”
Scott said Robinson’s words explain why most local governments should resort to anti-LGBTQ anti-discrimination epistles.
But Robinson stands by his words. Asked by WRAL in an interview last week, he said if he uses a word other than “dirty,” he said, “Of course not.”
In justifying his remarks, he argued that teaching LGBTQ issues in public schools was specifically discussed.
“It refers to introducing children to the classroom,” Robinson told WRAL, “and there’s no room for that in our public schools.”
He made similar remarks on the October 1 anniversary of the North Carolina Values Coalition.
“And they’re pushing these grotesque agendas, trying to teach our kids that they’re not really boys or girls, or they’re pushing this gay litter in their throats,” he said.
Robinson’s main concern is what children are taught in schools. In March, he launched FACTS, a “justice and accountability” task force aimed at “exposing teaching in the classroom.” The task force’s online portal allowed parents to report alleged cases of teaching in the K-12 classroom.
Brian Gordon is a statewide reporter with a network in North Carolina. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @ briansamuel92.