RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) said he stands by comments he made referring to being transgender and homosexuality as “filth,” as some LGBTQ state leaders called on him to resign Monday.
Rep. Allison Dahle (D-Wake), one of a few LGBTQ members of the General Assembly, said after she saw the video of Robinson that surfaced last week, she struggled initially to decide what to say.
“I was scared for the kids,” she said, saying she was concerned about the potential impact on kids’ mental health. “One of the things that happens when inflammatory remarks are said about a certain group, is there have been studies that have shown that the damage it does to the kids… can be devastating.
“I was scared for the young people that have not been through Amendment One, who have not been through HB2, who haven’t been through this before,” Dahle added.
Dahle said she thinks Robinson should resign, joining other Democratic elected officials and candidates as well as LGBTQ groups who’ve issued similar calls in recent days.
Robinson posted a video over the weekend, defending what he said and calling attention to three books he said are in North Carolina schools, including “George,” “Lawn Boy,” and “Gender Queer.” He included explicit images from the third book.
“This whole thing has been an attempt once again to change the argument and silence voices on the right. Well, let me tell you plainly right here and right now, I will not back down,” he said.
“I will fight for and protect the rights of all citizens, including those in the LGBTQ community, to express themselves however they want. That is their right as Americans, and I don’t think that government has any role in telling them otherwise,” he said. “The idea that our children should be taught about concepts of transgenderism and be exposed to sexually explicit materials in the classroom is abhorrent.”
Robinson has not agreed to an interview with CBS 17 since the initial video surfaced last week. The clips that have gained attention came from June when spoke at Asbury Baptist Church in Randolph County.
All the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination in next year’s U.S. Senate race have called on Robinson to resign, with former state Supreme Court Chief Justice saying Sunday he should step down. State Sen. Jeff Jackson and former state Sen. Erica Smith said the same last week.
On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker said Monday he agrees with what Robinson said.
“Lt. Governor Robinson is 100% accurate describing the sexualization of our children in public schools. The content is filth, and the agenda is no less filthy. The content that Lt. Governor Robinson showed us yesterday in his response should be disturbing to us all for these impressionable minds,” he said in a statement. “We will not be intimidated by Attorney General Merrick Garland, the liberal news media, Jeff Jackson, or anyone else.”
Spokespeople for Rep. Ted Budd and former Gov. Pat McCrory did not respond to requests for comment.
The Republican leaders of the General Assembly, Sen. Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, also have not responded to requests for comment.
Dahle, who called on Robinson to resign, she’s concerned about the impact the comments could have on the state trying to attract businesses and people to move to North Carolina.
“We’re not here for this anymore. We need to move on and help people get through this pandemic. We need to help economic growth,” she said. “I can’t even imagine what this could do the economic growth of our state. We know what happened with HB2, and now we’re just going to go again and see if we can screw up our economy even more?”