Robinson goes on offensive, firing up conservative rally in Raleigh

Posted October 28, 2021 9:11 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2021 8:31 p.m. EDT

— Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson resumed his attack on LGBTQ issues in schools during a Friday morning rally in downtown Raleigh.

The Republican, who's likely to run for governor in 2024, keynoted the Stand Up for America Rally that drew an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people to Halifax Mall.

"Lt. Gov. Robinson has distinguished himself as a spiritual John the Baptist, thundering out truth without apology and exposing the chaff of hypocrisy," Ron Baity, a Winston-Salem pastor and president of rally organizer Return America, said in introducing him.

Robinson has been under fire for weeks after video surfaced of appearances he made at two churches this summer and at a North Carolina Values Coalition gala last month.

"If there's a movement in this country that is demonic and is full of anti-, the spirit of the antichrist, it is the transgender movement," Robinson said during an August appearance at Upper Room Church of God in Christ, in Raleigh.

That followed comments he made at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove in June.

"There is no reason anybody, anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality or any of that filth," he said. "And yes, I called it filth. And if you don't like it that I called it filth, come see me about it."

During the Values Coalition gathering, he urged parents to stand up to school boards and school administrators who are "pushing these perverted agendas, to try to teach our children that they're really not boys or girls, or they're shoving this homosexuality garbage down their throats."

On Friday, Robinson continued to insist that he is calling for the removal of several LGBT-themed books from public school libraries and isn't bashing any individuals for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"They want me to resign," he said of his critics. "I'm going to resign myself to keep delivering the message of truth to the people of North Carolina. I'm going to resign myself to continue standing up for the constitutional rights of every citizen of this state, regardless of how they identify.

Robinson blamed the news media for the controversy, saying outlets "just want to make an example out of me."

To the cheers of the crowd, he went on to praise former President Donald Trump and criticize the policies of President Joe Biden's administration.

"Our government is out of control," he said. "The angry and indignant patriots of this country and North Carolina are going to rein this country back into control. It's time for us to teach our nation a lesson."

He urged the crowd to stand up against "enemies on the other side of the aisle that would drag this nation into a socialist hellhole."

"The Christian patriots of this nation will own this nation and rule this nation and help freedom survive," he said.

Return America states on its website that it wants "to build a network of churches and individuals to educate, motivate and mobilize citizens in a united effort in promoting Judeo-Christian values."

"I really believe there’s a majority of us, a silent majority, and here’s where we are speaking up," said Christy Maddox, of Asheboro, who was among the throngs at the rally.

"The church needs people that will listen to them," said Robert Hildebrand, of Stanley.

LGBTQ advocates held a small rally of their own on Friday afternoon to counter Robinson's remarks.

"I don’t care if its five of us or 500 of us, we will be here every Friday standing against hate," said Rev. Vance Haywood, pastor of St. John's Metropolitan Community Church, in Raleigh. "The simple, moral fact is that words kill. Mr. Robinson, in your statement and the words you continue to spew, you put countless lives at risk. You put countless lives in jeopardy."

Haywood and other LGBTQ advocates have pressed for Robinson to meet with them, but he hasn't responded.

"What bothers me is that Mr. Robinson’s words apparently are seen as a magnet for others, and we stand here to say that they simply are abhorrent to us, and we trust they are abhorrent to the majority of the public," said Rev. Doug Long, senior minister at Umstead Park United Church of Christ, in Raleigh. "The bottom line is that Mr. Robinson does not see the LGBTQ community as human beings. He does not see them as equal human beings."

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