In spite of a chorus of demands for his resignation over homophobic remarks, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson has said he “will not back down”.
Mr Robinson posted a video on Facebook on Saturday, responding to heated criticism of comments in which he referred to “transgenderism” and homosexuality as “filth”.
“Let me tell you plainly right here and right now: I will not back down,” he said. “I will not be silenced and I will not be bullied into submission. I will continue to fight for the rights of our children to receive an education that is free from sexual concepts that do not belong in the classroom.”
Mr Robinson’s offending comments were made in a speech at the Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, North Carolina in June, and recently resurfaced on social media.
“There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth," the Republican politician was heard saying in the footage. “And yes, I called it filth, and if you don’t like that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you,” he added.
The White House was swift to condemn his remarks. Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said Mr Robinson’s comments were “repugnant and offensive”, adding: “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 a statement.
North Carolina State Senator Jeff Jackson added his voice to the criticism, tweeting: “Calling many of your own constituents ‘filth’ means you have no intention of representing them. Our Lt. Governor should resign and allow someone who is prepared to do the job to take his place. This wasn’t a dog whistle, folks. This was old school hate.”
Calling many of your own constituents "filth" means you have no intention of representing them.— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) October 8, 2021
Our Lt. Governor should resign and allow someone who is prepared to do the job to take his place.
This wasn't a dog whistle, folks. This was old school hate.https://t.co/uFDA9VzJA8
Joni Madison, president of The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBT+ rights, also called on the lieutenant governor to resign and said: “North Carolinians deserve better than these dehumanizing comments.”
Mr Robinson claimed in his video Saturday that he was “viciously attacked” for his comments. He has created a petition, urging people to sign against “the radical left” and to stand up against what he called “classroom indoctrination”.
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