Fayetteville and NC LGBTQ groups respond to Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson's comments – The Fayetteville Observer

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Icon 10월 18, 2021

A video recently surfaced of North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson referring to teaching transgenderism and homosexuality as “filth.”  Some LGBTQ community organizations have chosen to respond in a passive manner.
In June, while speaking at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, Robinson told members of the congregation, “There’s no reason anybody anywhere should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth, and if you don’t like it, that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.” 
Tiffany Kearse described Robinson’s words as unfortunate. Kearse is an organizer with Equal Space for PEACE, a Fayetteville organization dedicated to empowering members of the LGBTQ community.
“It’s unfortunate that he wants to use his privilege in this manner,” she said. “His ignorance, his lack of acceptance of humanity is what escaped from his lips more than anything else.” 
Kearse added that she believes that Robinson’s comments took away parts of the peoples’ humanity he spoke out about. 
Original coverage:NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson stands by LGBTQ+ ‘filth’ comments amid calls for resignation
“It’s so unfortunate because these are people,” she said. “As people who exist in the state, and the nation, and the world, how dare we eliminate their aspect of humanity by referencing them in this manner. So, his ignorance is speaking and not recognizing the humanity of these people.” 
Robinson’s comment referred to LGBTQ+ teaching in schools. 
To this, Kearse, also the committee chair for youth engagement for Fayetteville Pride, highlighted the importance of teaching the youth about their bodies and sexuality. 
“Teaching children about the importance of their bodies and how we can learn to accept however they identify and we can embrace this culture shift to more warm and welcoming to the people who are experiencing it more intrusively, it helps,” she said. “It helps us to move forward as a country, to move forward as a people.” 
Emily Morgan responded to a Facebook post by The Fayetteville Observer asking for reaction to Robinson’s remarks.
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“No public official should be describing any citizens as filth, as it’s just plain unprofessional and demeaning to public service,” she said. “Secondly, I’d like to know the LT Gov’s opinion on the LGBT folks in military. I’m an active duty, transgender, lesbian paratrooper. Is my service to this country, including my selection to Special Forces training, part of that filth?”
Equality NC, an organization that works to secure rights and protections for the LGBTQ community, released a statement saying that they refuse to elevate hate. 
“At Equality North Carolina, we have a policy of not uplifting or growing more attention to damaging rhetoric, because we know it adds to a culture that harms the most vulnerable in our LGBTQ+ community,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, over the weekend before Coming Out Day and during Anti-Bullying Month and LGBTQ History Month, national news picked up these types of statements from our own state’s lieutenant governor. These types of statements have negative, far-reaching impacts.”
In the statement, Equality NC added that they did not want to give fame to Robinson’s “hateful rhetoric.” 
“That’s why you will see us taking the power back from his words, as has been our longstanding tradition as queer people,” the statement said. “The bullies will not win. We will work to elect leaders who have the material interest of LGBTQ+ people in mind, who uplift our voices and experiences, and who will work with us to pass policies addressing the disparities our community faces.”
The Fayetteville chapter of Free Mom Hugs, a nonprofit that celebrates the LGBTQ community, also took a passive approach to Robinson’s comment.
A post on the organization’s Facebook page by one of its moderators said it has been standard that they don’t get into politics. 
Instead, Free Mom Hugs is focusing on spreading something positive. 
“Our goal is to show love to the LGBTQ+ community in the face of hatred. We are to be a beacon of light and love. And we do that … but when people that are supposed to represent us, the constituents, go off the wall … where do we draw the line? Our ‘children’ are under attack specifically from this individual,” the post said.  
The post also said there will be several protests in the near future, but no details were provided in the post or on the page. 
Attached to the post, was an image of the LGBTQ+ flag with the hashtag “#WeAreNotFilth.”
Staff writer Akira Kyles can be reached at [email protected]
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