Robinson said he stood by his homophobic comment and claimed to Raleigh NBC affiliate WRAL that right-wing speech was being “demonized.”
“We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We will not change our language,” he said. “The language I used, I am not ashamed of it. I will use it in the future because, again, it is time for parents in this state to take a strong stand for their children.”
Robinson made his offensive remarks while speaking in June at the Asbury Baptist Church in the town of Seagrove.
“I’m saying this now, and I’ve been saying it, and I don’t care who likes it: Those issues have no place in a school. There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality — any of that filth,” he said in a sermon at the church.
Robinson added: “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.”
After the video was released Wednesday, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson called for Robinson to resign, saying such “open discrimination” is “completely unacceptable.”
“North Carolina is a welcoming state where we value public education and the diversity of our people. It’s abhorrent to hear anyone, and especially an elected official, use hateful rhetoric that hurts people and our state’s reputation,” said spokesperson Jordan Monaghan.
Robinson told WRAL on Friday that the governor’s opinion “made no difference whatsoever.”
“I am tired of folks on the right being demonized for our speech,” he said, claiming that “folks on the left burn, beat, rob, loot — take over entire cities — and get a pass.”
Robinson noted that he was not speaking at the church in his role as a public official. But he said that “homosexuality and transgenderism” are “against the tenets of my religion” and have no place in public schools.
The video was posted on Twitter by Right Wing Watch, part of the progressive advocacy group People for the American Way.
Robinson’s comments were “literally dangerous” for members of the LGBTQ community, Allison Scott, director of impact and innovation for the Campaign for Southern Equality, told WRAL.
“Whether that is his meaning or not, it is his words that are actually painting the picture that we as a group should not exist. There are real impacts to words, and the real impacts are the damage and hurt in people’s lives,” Scott warned.
A spokesperson for Robinson initially attempted to soft-pedal his comments, saying they only “referred to education.”
“Topics surrounding transgenderism and homosexuality should be discussed at home and not in public education,” spokesperson John Wesley Waugh said in an email to WRAL. “We must focus on reading, writing, and mathematics in North Carolina.”
Waugh wrote that Robinson “affirms every individual’s constitutional right to identify or express themselves in anyway they desire.”