RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Conservative Christians gathered on Friday cheered North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who pledged to fight on for their principles and remain on the job despite recent calls by LGBTQ advocates and others for him to resign.
Speaking at a large “Stand Up for America” rally behind the Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh, Robinson referred repeatedly to his Christian faith and used military themes while calling on the crowd to remain courageous in expressing their beliefs.
Robinson, a Republican elected last November, has taken heat for recorded comments he made in June about sex education in schools that critics say disparaged LGBTQ people. Robinson, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, has said his words focused on graphic reading materials found in some public schools, not people, and hasn’t apologized.
On Friday, Robinson referred to the materials as “pornography” and named the state education department, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein while questioning efforts to protect children. Cooper said earlier this month it would be “appropriate” for Robinson to resign.
Rather, Robinson said Friday, “I’m going to resign myself to keep delivering a 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.”
Rally participants got excited when the organizer, the Rev. Ron Baity, mentioned that Robinson said earlier this week he was “95% sure” that he would run for governor in 2024. Cooper is barred from seeking reelection due to term limits.
A rally flier said the gathering, organized by Wallburg-based Return America, was designed to express support for religious freedom and gun rights and to stand up for “true American history,” “the unborn” and for “the biblical family.”