The White House on Friday condemned remarks by North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson from last June when he called LGBTQ+ people “filth” during an appearance at a North Carolina church.
“There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” Robinson said in a video that was posted online.
“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.”
“These words are repugnant and offensive,” N.C. native and Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates said, according to the Washington Blade. “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.”
The White House’s condemnation comes as lawmakers in N.C. call for Robinson to resign.
On Saturday, Robinson doubled down on his remarks and refused to resign. In a video captioned “I will not back down,” Robinson 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.”
He added, “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 the government has any role in telling them otherwise.”
Robinson then 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.”
The state’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement that Robinson’s comments were harmful to North Carolinians and stained N.C.'s public image.
“North Carolina is a welcoming state where we value public education and the diversity of our people. It’s abhorrent to hear anyone, and especially an elected official, use hateful rhetoric that hurts people and our state’s reputation,” he said, the Blade reports.
The interim president of the Human Rights Campaign, Joni Madison, called for Robinson’s resignation in a statement.
“This is not the first time Robinson has shared his discriminatory views, but it should be the last time he gets away with it as an elected leader. North Carolinians deserve better than these dehumanizing comments,” Madison said.
“This incident only reaffirms the serious need for comprehensive non-discrimination protections that would outlaw discrimination and make North Carolina a safer place for LGBTQ+ people to live.”