North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson commended Moms for Liberty, a conservative organization opposing transgender rights, comparing them to historical figures like Betsy Ross, Rosie the Riveter, and Rosa Parks. During a gathering at his official residence, Robinson expressed his affection for the group, which advocates for legislation prohibiting transgender girls and women from participating in female sports and banning gender reassignment surgery for minors. The event featured speakers such as a lobbyist from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a right-wing Christian legal group labeled as a “hate group” by some extremism watchdogs.
Reps. Ken Fontenot and John Torbett, both Republican lawmakers, also addressed the attendees. The event took on a combative tone, with Tina Descovich, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, declaring that they were at war. Nathan Street, a former music teacher accused of physically abusing students, encouraged the audience to flex their muscles, symbolizing readiness for battle.
Robinson, a prominent Republican figure expected to run for governor in 2024, compared the current political climate to the Civil War, emphasizing the nation’s resilience in the face of division.
Robinson gained national attention in 2018 when he delivered a speech to the Greensboro City Council advocating for gun rights following the Parkland school shooting. Since becoming lieutenant governor, Robinson’s anti-LGBTQ statements from church pulpits have generated controversy. Despite the backlash, he has continued to express opposition to LGBTQ issues, asserting that they have no place in schools and denouncing churches that welcome LGBTQ individuals.
During the event at Robinson’s residence, a transgender protester confronted the Moms for Liberty activists, criticizing their attempt to influence the state’s governance. The Alliance Defending Freedom, which defended a Colorado baker in a same-sex wedding cake case, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to its stances on LGBTQ rights. However, Robinson’s spokesperson stated that the lieutenant governor aims to defend the rights of all North Carolinians.
Robinson is promoting himself as a “brash and unfiltered conservative culture warrior” who opposes abortion, promotes climate change denial, and opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana.
He has indicated that he wants to remove science and social studies from the first through fifth-grade curriculum, abolish the State Board of Education, and expand charter schools and school voucher programs, potentially supplanting the public school system. Robinson’s past antisemitic comments have drawn scrutiny and condemnation.
Robinson’s alliance with Moms for Liberty mirrors the group’s support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run for president in 2024. Moms for Liberty played a significant role in DeSantis’ re-election campaign by mobilizing activists and promoting “parent’s rights” messaging. Robinson is scheduled to speak at the group’s upcoming national summit, further cementing their alliance and potentially influencing his gubernatorial campaign.