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White House says NC Lt. Governor’s remarks are repugnant

“The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate”

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North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (Screenshot via YouTube)

WASHINGTON – In a statement released Friday by Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates, the Biden Administration condemned remarks made last June by North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson who called LGBTQ+ people “filth.”

“These words are repugnant and offensive,” said Bates, who is a native of North Carolina. “The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate and undermine their own office.”

Robinson made the comments in June at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove but a video clip portion of the speech was posted Tuesday on the Twitter by People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch project.

“There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” Robinson says. “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.”

Robinson’s comments drew angered responses including the State Senator for North Carolina’s 37th District, Jeff Jackson, who is also a Major in the Carolina National Guard and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, who called for the Lieutenant Governor to resign. Jackson also offered his public support of the LGBTQ+ community tweeting;

“To our LGBTQ friends who were the targets of this discrimination, you’ve had to put up with this hate for far too long. This kind of behavior should be part of our past, not our present. We’re going to prevail over it, again, and move closer to full equality and dignity.”

Then referring to Robinson’s tirade Jackson wrote: “And I really can’t stand bullies. That’s all this man is. When you stand up to bullies, you catch them by surprise. They count on people stepping aside. That’s not going to happen here. Please join me in letting him know.”

North Carolina’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper responded via media statement saying; “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.”

Adam Owens, a reporter and anchor for WRAL-TV 5, an NBC-affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, reported that Robinson was not backing down.

“We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We will not change our language,” Robinson 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 said.

“I am tired of folks on the right being demonized for our speech while folks on the left burn, beat, rob, loot – take over entire cities and get a pass,” he added.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, both Republican, haven’t responded to WRAL News’ request for comment.

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North Carolina

North Carolina LGBTQ+ center head was fired after allegations of fraud

“After a more thorough investigation, her employment was terminated. All of us at the Center were devastated and felt betrayed”

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Lindsey Lughes via Out! Raleigh Pride 2020 Committee/LGBT Center of Raleigh archive page

RALEIGH – In a statement posted to its website Friday, the LGBTQ+ center in the North Carolina capital city notified the community that the center’s former executive director had been fired after “unusual financial activity” in the non-profit’s finances were found.

The details of the termination last summer of former executive director Lindsey Lughes, who had became executive director of the center in 2019, had not been previously publicly disclosed, until a request came last week from local media outlet WRAL News inquiring as to the reason for her being let go.

The center’s interim director Dolph Goldenburg wrote in the statement;

In April 2019, we announced that Lindsey Lughes would join the Center as our new Executive Director, following a national search conducted by our board. Lindsey had an impressive background in LGBTQ+ non-profit work. We were excited to have her lead our organization, which is one of the few in North Carolina — and the only in Raleigh — to provide life-saving resources and programming to the LGBTQ+ community.

However, last summer we discovered some unusual financial activity in our books. After consulting with our accounting contractor and enlisting a law firm to investigate, Lindsey was placed on an immediate suspension. After a more thorough investigation, her employment was terminated. All of us at the Center were devastated and felt betrayed by Lindsey’s actions.

Nonprofits are particularly vulnerable to fraud for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately are less likely to report fraud to law enforcement for fear of reputation damage. We, however, made the intentional decision to quickly refer this to law enforcement and a criminal investigation is underway by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

We had planned to publicly share information about the fraud after charges had been filed because we do not want to interfere with the investigation. As the result of a recent media request, we are disclosing the fraud but not sharing information about how the fraud was perpetrated or the investigation itself.

While the SBI has been conducting this investigation, our Board and the Center have mobilized over the last 7 months to ensure something like this never happens again.

We implemented stricter internal controls and a wider separation of duties and have formed a finance committee of four people — including two board members. A CPA is reviewing a 3-year period (fiscal year 2019, 2020, and 2021).

We are also grateful that our institutional funders have been extremely supportive and stand by us as we commit to this financial overhaul.

Additionally, the Center’s Board of Directors has enlisted Kevin Chase Search Group to recruit the Center’s next Executive Director. We will seek a diverse and representative pool of candidates with deep LGBTQIA expertise, as well as candidates with an understanding of intersectionality, marginalized communities, and experience engaging with people of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

In the interim, Dolph Goldenburg — an experienced non-profit director and LGBTQ+ advocate — has been serving as the Interim Executive Director, and our staff continue providing programs and services.

It’s never easy to convey this news. But we must be driven by our north star: how this Center can provide thousands of LGBTQ+ people in Raleigh and North Carolina with support and community. In a state that has an unfortunate history of homophobia and transphobia, our work could not be more critical.”

WRAL noted that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation does not comment on investigations in progress, so WRAL News was unable to independently confirm the allegation. A search of court records showed no charges filed against Lughes as of Friday.

The outlet also reached out to Lughes for comment, but she did not immediately respond.

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North Carolina

Brewery launches LGBTQ+ fundraiser in homophobic politician’s name

A portion of profits from every pint of Don’t Be Mean To People will go to help the LGBTQ community grow, thrive, and find acceptance

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"The Lieutenant Governor Fund for the Fabulous," graphic courtesy of Ponysaurus Brewing Company

DURHAM N.C. — A local craft brewery in North Carolina has launched a cheeky campaign fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ community in the name of the state’s homo/transphobic Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson.

Raleigh NBC-affiliate WRAL 5 reported that Ponysaurus Brewing Company in Durham has launched “The Lieutenant Governor Fund for the Fabulous,” with a portion of profits from each pint of its “Don’t Be Mean to People” beer being donated to the the LGBTQ community.

Citing Robinson’s public tirades against the LGBTQ+ community which included comments in June at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove; “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” Robinson said. “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.” The campaign hopes to raise awareness and funds for the LGBTQ+ community.

Announcing the launch of the ” Don’t Be Mean to People ” campaign, the brewery noted on the campaign’s webpage; “The Lt. Governor said some not very nice things. But Don’t Be Mean to People believes in the goodness of everyone. So we know in his heart he doesn’t believe other North Carolinians are “filth.” We’re so sure of it, we’re helping to fund the good work that could be his greatest act in public office.”

“That’s right — a portion of profits from every pint of Don’t Be Mean To People will go to help the LGBTQ community grow, thrive, and find acceptance. All in the name of his illustrious title,” the campaign added.

His categorizing the LGBTQ+ community as ‘filth’ brought swift condemnation from local, state, and national politicians, progressive groups and LGBTQ+ organizations including the White House. Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates said that the Biden Administration condemned the remarks made by Robinson.

“These words are repugnant and offensive,” said Bates, who is a native of North Carolina. “The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate and undermine their own office.”

Last month, speaking to parishioners at the Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem on Sunday, November 14,  Robinson questioned the “purpose” of being gay; said heterosexual couples are “superior” to gay couples; and that he didn’t want to explain to his grandchildren why two men are kissing if they see that on television the Charlotte Observer reported.

The state’s Republican Lt. Governor then went on to compare being gay to “what the cows leave behind” as well as maggots and flies.

Ponysaurus owners Nick Hawthorne-Johnson and David Baldwin posted a video on Instagram saying they would like to speak with Robinson about his comments.

“Stop by Ponysaurus anytime and let’s talk about it over a beer,” Hawthorne-Johnson says.

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North Carolina

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Robinson rants at lawmaker over LGBTQ mention

The Senator was referencing Robinson’s anti-LGBTQ+, homophobic and transphobic public statements over the past several months

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Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson ( Screenshot via NBC-affiliate WCNC-TV, Charlotte, North Carolina)

RALEIGH – In a heated tirade in the hallways of the North Carolina capitol building captured on a mobile phone Monday, Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the state’s highest elected Black official launched into an attack on Democratic State Senator Julie Mayfield.

The tirade was witnessed by a dozen people including lawmakers, staff, and visitors. State Sen. Natasha Marcus (D-Davidson), who witnessed the confrontation and caught part of the tirade on her mobile told the Charlotte News-Observer; ““It was a rant. He berated her, and he yelled as loudly as he could.” 

The lieutenant governor, who presides over the state Senate, approached Senator Mayfield in the hallway outside the Senate chamber after lawmakers adjourned and “wagged” his finger in her face, Marcus said.

Mayfield had addressed the Senate earlier Monday, after a vote where she highlighted the increasing deadly violence against Black people and ongoing discrimination against LGBTQ people.

In her remarks to her colleagues she said; “It is convenient fiction that we can say something in a particular forum and not expect to be held accountable for those words in another,” Mayfield said. “We are elected officials. And if we can’t respect our constituents rather than viciously attack some of them, then maybe we’re in the wrong job.”

The Senator was referencing Robinson’s anti-LGBTQ+, homophobic and transphobic public statements over the past several months.

Speaking to parishioners at the Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem on Sunday, November 14, Robinson attacked the LGBTQ+ community, captured on the church’s YouTube livestream.

Robinson said in his sermon that he questioned the “purpose” of being gay; said heterosexual couples are “superior” to gay couples; and that he didn’t want to explain to his grandchildren why two men are kissing if they see that on television the Charlotte Observer reported.

The state’s Republican Lt. Governor then went on to compare being gay to “what the cows leave behind” as well as maggots and flies, who he said all serve a purpose in God’s creation. “If homosexuality is of God, what purpose does it serve? What does it make? What does it create? It creates nothing,” Robinson said.

In a speaking engagement in June at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, Robinson called LGBTQ people “filth.”  “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” Robinson says. “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.”

In a statement released in October by Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates, the Biden Administration condemned the remarks made last June by Robinson. “These words are repugnant and offensive,” said Bates, who is a native of North Carolina. “The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate and undermine their own office.”

“Sen. Mayfield’s remarks speak what’s in the hearts of most North Carolinians, and the fact that it set the lieutenant governor off that much is shocking to me,” Sen. Marcus told the News-Observer. “He said ‘You know where I am and where to find me,’” Marcus said, paraphrasing. “’If you have something to say to me you should come and say it to my face.’”

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