North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson came under fire from the media for condemning sexually explicit LGBT books being made available to students in public schools, but that same media then felt compelled to blur out images he showed from those books.
In June, Robinson spoke at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, N.C. Discussing education in public schools, he said: "There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth. And if you don't like that I called it filth, come see me and I'll explain it to you."
The video resurfaced on Twitter last week after being posted by Right Wing Watch, which describes itself as a "project of People For the American Way that monitors and exposes the activities of Radical Right political organizations."
Explaining his comments to the John Solomon Reports podcast Thursday, Robinson said: "My intent was to describe the material that is being presented to children in schools, and we have made that quite plain. Not only have we made it plain with our words, we've made it plain with written and visual examples. And so this whole argument that somehow that I was calling the LGBT community 'filth' is just nonsense, not true."
WTVD, a local ABC affiliate, said in their news report on the story that Robinson's original comments were "homophobic."
The station's reporter, Jonah Kaplan, asked Robinson in an interview if "issues about gender identity, sexual orientation, what some people would call civil rights" should be in the classroom. "The fight for equality, that should not be in the classroom?" he asked
Robinson said he was talking not about the fight for equality, but about "material out there that's sharing intimate details about homosexuality, about sexuality in general, to our students."
Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein — both Democrats — and the White House denounced Robinson's initial remarks, WTVD reported.
Democratic State Sen. Jeff Jackson, who is running for U.S. Senate, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which is the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in America, called for Robinson to resign, according to the news outlet.
Following the calls for his resignation, Robinson held a press conference Tuesday, where he showed pictures from "Gender Queer," which is a book that has sexually graphic images.
"These materials do not belong in the classroom, the hallways or the libraries," he said, adding that it was likely "child pornography, being presented to our children."
In WTVD's news report, which aired on broadcast television, they blurred out the entire screen from which Robinson showed the pictures during the press conference.
WTVD did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News.
With regard to his resignation, Robinson said at the press conference, "Not only are we not resigning, we are not going to stop until the schools of North Carolina are safe from this kind of filth."
Robinson called out the hypocrisy of the media on the podcast Thursday, gibing that they can dig up old social media posts but "can't find pornography being disseminated to our children in our public schools.
"The whole thing stinks of hypocrisy, and quite frankly, anybody who supports these images being in the classroom, or in the library, or in our schools at all, I hold them personally responsible," he added.
While North Carolina spends almost half of its budget on education, "we are failing at the basic level," said Robinson. "We are failing to teach our children to read on a grade level."
"In a system that is failing on a basic level, there is no room for any of this stuff that's the extra stuff that's being taught, and there's certainly never any room for pornography and things like that to be in the classroom," he said.