A North Carolina politician has come under fire for referring to LGBTQ+ people as “filth” and claiming that teaching about queer and trans identities is “abuse.”
In a nine-minute long clip that has garnered national attention, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson claimed that children are being taught “a bunch of stuff about how to hate America,” “why they’re racist,” and “transgenderism and homosexuality” in schools. He added that“there’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth.”
“It’s time for us to stop letting these children be abused at these schools,” he said, “and it’s not gonna happen until the people of God stand up and demand different.”
The comments were originally made in June to the Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, a small town of 285 people located 80 miles outside of Charlotte, according to the local news outlet WRAL. Video of the incident made waves last week, however, when it was picked up by the watchdog organization Right Wing Watch.
Robinson’s comments met with immediate backlash, with critics calling for the Republican leader’s immediate resignation.
“As Lt. Governor, he presides over the state Senate. It’s his primary duty,” wrote North Carolina State Senator Jeff Jackson (D-37th District) in a thread on Twitter Thursday. “As a member of that body, I have a responsibility to clearly state that this is not a position that should be held be someone who is plainly and proudly discriminatory.”
Jackson, who is currently running to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate, added that “the last thing our state needs is open discrimination from someone in high office.”
“It tells a lot of wonderful people — our friends, family, neighbors — that someone who represents them thinks they’re all beneath basic dignity,” he said. “No one should find that remotely acceptable.”
LGBTQ+ advocates seconded calls for Robinson to step down.