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North Carolina lieutenant governor rejects call to resign over anti-LGBTQ comments
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) rejected calls for his resignation on Saturday after a number of lawmakers condemned his comments describing homosexuality as "filth."
Robinson remained defiant in a video posted to Facebook, saying he "will not back down."
"Let me tell you plainly right here and right now: I will not back down, I will not be silent, and I will not be bullied into submission," Robinson said.
The lieutenant governor's comments come after a video circulated last week in which he made remarks at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, N.C., in June describing transgenderism and homosexuality as "filth."
"There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling children about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth," Robinson said in the video.
The comment was part of remarks Robinson delivered detailing his opposition to teaching about LGBTQ issues in public schools.
The unearthed video - first posted by Right Wing Watch, part of the progressive advocacy organization People for the American Way - sparked backlash from a number of North Carolina lawmakers, including state Sen. Jeff Jackson (D), who called on Robinson to resign.
"North Carolina's Lt. Governor, Mark Robinson, just angrily referred to the LGBTQ community as 'filth.' Then he says, 'Yes I called it filth.' There's no debate here. This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable. Mark Robinson should resign," Jackson said in a tweet.
Jackson is currently running for U.S. Senate. Robinson last week said Jackson's comments were an attempt to "boost his losing campaign for Senate."
In his video posted online Saturday, Robinson dismissed Jackson's calls to resign, saying he would "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 claimed that his comment was taken out of context and that Democrats and the media have "tried to change the focus from education to the LGBTQ community, specifically that I hate them."
The lieutenant governor said he 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 government has any role in telling them otherwise," he added.
"However, 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 Hill reached out to Jackson for comment.