Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson calls LGBTQ books 'borderline child pornography'

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Robinson calls images in LGBT book 'borderline child pornography'
As calls for his resignation grow louder, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson spoke again about his remarks toward LGBTQ education in schools.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson spoke again refusing to apologize or back down from his disparaging comments about LGBTQ education in schools.

Robinson held a news conference Tuesday afternoon, where he announced that "not only are we not resigning, we are not going to stop until the schools of North Carolina are safe from this kind of filth."

He again chose to single out LGBTQ literature as "filth," but clarified that "we're not calling any person filth; we're not calling anyone anything less than human; we're talking about inappropriate materials being presented to our children."

WATCH: Lt. Gov. Robinson's full news conference

Full raw video of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson's news conference Tuesday.

In Tuesday's press conference, Robinson was careful to reword his original defense of his now-viral June speech from a North Carolina pulpit. He previously presented three books as evidence of inappropriate material being taught in North Carolina schools. But since multiple school districts pushed back that none of the books were in fact being taught as part of the curriculum, Robinson now made sure to say the books were being "presented" to children.

The three books ("George" by Alex Gino, "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe, "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison) that have caught Robinson's ire, as well as many other conservatives across the country, are available to be checked out from a fraction of libraries in North Carolina schools.

"These materials do not belong in the classroom, the hallways or the libraries," Robinson said as he used a large monitor to show everybody watching his press conference images he personally described as "child pornography." The images were excerpts from "Gender Queer," a comic-strip style book.

Robinson noted that he opposed all sexually charged material in schools, whether it be homosexual or heterosexual in nature.

However, he has a long history of comments disparaging the LGBTQ community. When asked about the litany of past Facebook posts he has written about the LGBTQ community before he was elected last year, Robinson changed the subject.

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

WATCH: 'We are not filth:' LGBTQ leaders push back against Robinson's comments

The rally came in response to a video that surfaced online where Robinson described teaching sexuality, including homosexuality, in schools as "filth."

During the press conference, Robinson also showed repugnant, hate-filled messages he said he received since this controversy came to light.

The messages included profanity, racial slurs and death threats--including an extremely offensive voicemail he played during the press conference calling for someone to hang the lieutenant governor.

"I would submit to you that I'm the one who is under attack right now with threats of violence," Robinson said.

Political fallout

Rep. Allison Dahle, a Democrat from Wake County, 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 White House called Robinson's comments "repugnant and offensive," and Gov. Roy Cooper's office called them "abhorrent."

On Tuesday, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, responded to a request for comment from ABC11, saying he agreed with Robinson's premise.

"I agree with the Lt. Governor that it is inappropriate for our children to be exposed to sexually explicit images in reading materials provided by our schools," Moore said. "The Lt. Governor has clarified his statements and has said plainly that he was describing this reading material, not any person or community, in his remarks. Furthermore, the outpouring of racist, disturbing voicemails and messages directed at Lt. Gov. Robinson and his family are shameful and abhorrent."

"I represent not just some, but each and every one of my constituents in Cleveland County, and as Speaker of the House, I value and respect each and every one of our members and their families," Moore added. "I am confident that we can work together with greater respect for our neighbors even in the most passionate political debates."

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.

Robinson's previous controversial statements

After the 2016 shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Robinson wrote on Facebook, "I pray for the souls of all those killed, healing for all those wounded, and comfort for the family members of the terrorist shooting in Orlando. However, homosexuality is STILL an abominable sin and I WILL NOT join in 'celebrating gay pride' nor will I fly their sacrilegious flag on my page."

In December 2016, Robinson criticized a National Geographic magazine cover titled "Gender Revolution" that displayed a 9-year-old transgender child. Robinson wrote, "The sick, deranged, sexual degenerates who promote this type of demonic behavior are the ones who will take the next step in our continuing moral decline toward total depravity. Free love, then homosexuality."

In 2017, Robinson wrote, "You CAN NOT love God and support the homosexual agenda."

Two years later, he chastised gender reassignment surgeries and accused parents of having "mentally raped" their transgender children. He also wrote in 2019 that "the same people who claim the new Rambo movie is (too) 'manly' are the same people who think it's OK for the homecoming queen to BE a man."

The Associated Press contributed.