• 57°

Lieutenant governor not apologizing for anti-LGBTQ remarks

By Bryan Anderson

Associated Press/Report for America

RALEIGH — North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson on Tuesday again declined to apologize for remarks he made in June criticizing sexual education in public schools and likening gay and transgender people to “filth.”

Robinson held a news conference to respond to criticism earlier in the day from Democrats, including three LGBTQ lawmakers. He pushed back on calls from some Democrats and LGBTQ groups for him to resign and said he could separate his personal views about sexuality and spirituality from his daily role as the state’s highest GOP executive officeholder.

“My spiritual beliefs about transgenderism and homosexuality is completely separate from this office, and I can keep it separate from this office,” Robinson said.

Robinson reiterated his assertion that his remarks in June were intended as a critique of reading materials available within the state’s public school system rather than an attack on the LGBTQ community.

But Rep. Marcia Morey, a Durham County Democrat, criticized Robinson’s efforts to shift the discussion away from his past statements and toward books offered in some public school libraries.

“This is a bait-and-switch. I think this started out by a video that was in a church, and it was disgusting,” Morey said at a morning news conference with two other LGBTQ members of the state House. “Now, it has pivoted to what kids are reading in schools. These are really two different issues, and I think we all want good solid literature for kids to read, but don’t conflate this with the words of hate and filth that sparked this entire debate.”

Rep. Allison Dahle, a Democrat from Wake, fought back tears as she said that it’s been difficult and deeply personal to process Robinson’s comments.

“When you live in a place where you’re pointed out as something not good, it’s really hard to process that,” she said, adding: “Processing can be really difficult because coming out is not just a one-time thing. It can be every day, and it can be over and over again even if you’re out and proud.”

The state’s Republican leaders have refused to criticize Robinson after a video surfaced last week of him telling Asbury Baptist Church attendees in June, “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth.”

In a statement shortly after Robinson’s news conference, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore stood by Robinson’s clarification. He condemned those who have threatened Robinson over the June comments but did not speak out against a number of anti-LGBTQ views Robinson has espoused over the years.

“I am confident that we can work together with greater respect for our neighbors even in the most passionate political debates,” Moore wrote.

A statement from the North Carolina GOP on Twitter said Tuesday evening that “Republicans across North Carolina stand with Lt. Gov. Robinson.”

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger did not respond to multiple phone, email and text messages seeking comment.

Asked about the litany of past Facebook posts he has written about the LGBTQ community before he was elected last year, including a view he expressed in 2017 that “You CAN NOT love God and support the homosexual agenda,” Robinson discussed the need to remove highly sexual material from school libraries.

“Let’s just drop the whole Facebook thing and let’s talk about the subject matter at hand,” Robinson said.

Comments

Crime

Man jailed for shooting at Davie detectives in Rowan County, given $560,000 bond

BREAKING NEWS

County Commissioner Craig Pierce pleads guilty to driving while intoxicated

BREAKING NEWS

Overdose call turns into homicide investigation on Ted Lane

Crime

Court judgement requires occupants to vacate Gheen Road home, site of two murders

Crime

Blotter: Oct. 17

Nation/World

Bill Clinton back home after hospitalization from infection

Local

Early voting creeps along as county holds first municipal voting on Sunday

News

5 killed in single-vehicle crash in Raleigh

News

Knightdale police officer dies in crash on Interstate 540

Granite Quarry

Granite Fest makes a comeback with music, vendors and fun for kids

Education

State budget process could mean big gains or loss of funding for schools

Business

Biz Roundup: Downtown Salisbury vying for $25,000 cash prize

Kannapolis

Kannapolis native serves as a member of U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’

Local

Snyder promoted to deputy city clerk

Crime

Woman arrested for flashing rear end at Sheriff’s Office after previous charges overturned

Lifestyle

Hall wins bronze medal in SilverArts

Clubs

Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342 holds 75th anniversary celebration

Business

Salisbury-based Integro Technologies acquired by Kaman Distribution Group

Lifestyle

World War II veteran, longtime Rowan County farmer, celebrates 100th birthday

Local

Rowan commissioners will discuss body cameras for bailiffs, arrowhead donation, plumbing fix for lead levels

Business

Downtown move gives Salisbury Eyecare and Eyewear chance to expand offerings, add new doctor

Nation/World

Clinton recovering from infection 

Crime

Teen charged in shooting at Mount Tabor High School held without bond

Nation/World

Marine officer receives reprimand for Afghanistan criticism