Governor responds to Robinson’s ‘filth’ controversy

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said it would be appropriate if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson resigned after videos show him calling books on homosexuality "filth."


North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson continues to defend his remarks calling teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues “filth” as the state’s political parties split on the comments.

The lieutenant governor said he has no plans to resign, defending his comments and saying they were specifically about several books on homosexuality and transgender issues in the state’s public schools.

Asked if he thought Robinson should resign, the governor said, “If he did, it would be appropriate, but he’s made it clear that he’s not.”


What You Need To Know

  • Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson refuses to resign after videos came to light of him calling teaching about gay and transgender people “filth”
  • Asked if Robinson should resign, the governor said, “If he did, it would be appropriate”
  • Reaction to Robinson’s comments split down party lines, with Republicans focused on talking about books in public school libraries that show graphic sex acts between men
  • Democrats say his comments were hateful against gay and transgender people
  • “My spiritual beliefs about transgenderism and homosexuality are completely separate from this office,” Robinson said

“Let me make something clear: he does not speak for North Carolina. We are a welcoming and inclusive state. We want the entire nation and the world to know that,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday while answering questions from the press after signing an unrelated bill.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson defended his comments and said he will not resign. (Photo: AP)

This is not the first time North Carolina has attracted national attention for politicians’ stance on transgender issues. HB2, called the “bathroom bill,” caused a cascade of protests and boycotts that had lasting impact on North Carolina’s economy. That bill banned local governments from giving gay and transgender people protection from discrimination and forced people to use the bathroom that corresponded to their sex at birth.

State Republicans have stood by Robinson, focusing on several books Robinson named that included graphic depictions of sexual acts between men. 

“The NCGOP stands with Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, resolutely defends parents’ ultimate authority over their children’s education and opposes the inclusion of explicit and intrusive materials which have no place in North Carolina classrooms,” the North Carolina Republican Party said in a statement.

“Restoring trust in public education must start with recognizing the critical role of parents and families in the educational process. It also requires a focus on the core mission of North Carolina’s schools – providing a sound education which will prepare our children to be productive members of the workforce and society. Republicans across North Carolina stand with Lt. Governor Robinson in fighting for these principles,” the party said.

In his own press conference Tuesday, Robinson said, “My spiritual beliefs about transgenderism and homosexuality are completely separate from this office, and I can keep it separate from this office.”

Rep. Marcia Morey, a Durham Democrat, called Robinson’s focus on the books “a bait and switch.”

“Last week the lieutenant governor lit a match of hatred and intolerance,” Morey said. “Hate and name-calling has no place in the public discourse.”

In the first video, which shows Robinson talking to a church in June, the lieutenant governor told the congregation, “There is no reason anybody, anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality or any of that filth.”

“Yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like it that I called it filth, come see me about it,” he said.

Another video has surfaced at a different church when he called “the transgender movement” demonic and “filled with spirit of the anti-Christ.”



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