North Carolina Republican spreads fake news about five-year-olds having gender-affirming surgery

North Carolina lieutenant governor Mark Robinson speaks at a podium wearing a blue suit and red tie

North Carolina’s lieutenant governor Mark Robinson has been criticised for falsely claiming “clinics” are performing gender-affirming surgery on five-year-old children at a rally.

The Republican politician, who has previously referred to LGBTQ+ people as “filth”, explained that anyone who performs gender-affirming surgery to five-year-olds should be “placed in jail”, LGBTQ Nation reported.

His comments about five-year-olds are unfounded, as in the US – just like in the UK and the majority of other countries around the world – no one under the age of 18 is legally able to have gender-affirming surgery. 

Younger children and teenagers will only be offered puberty blockers or hormone therapy to manage gender dysphoria, with research finding that this gender-affirming care improves the mental health of trans teens

“If you believe a five-year-old should have transgender surgery, I’m sorry, but you are a bad person,” he said at a Faith Over Fear rally in Georgia hosted by gun rights activist Lucretia Hughes. 

“You are a child abuser, and you should be placed in jail… if our society continues to cosign on the abusing of our children in that way, we will not have a society for long.”

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In an interview with Hughes following his speech, Robinson said: “I don’t care what anyone says. When you start talking about clinics allowing five-year-olds to have transgender surgery, that is outrageous, that is abusive.

“As far as I’m concerned, it should be illegal. You know that’s one of the many social issues that we’re going to try to push back against.”

Mark Robinson also announced his bid to become North Carolina’s next governor at the event.

The lieutenant governor has previously made headlines for suggesting that Christians are “called to be led by men”, and that trans rights are the “antichrist’s work”.

In 2021, Robinson was filmed giving a speech at a church in North Carolina, claiming trans rights are “demonic” and “full of the spirit of antichrist”. 

Continuing his transphobic rant, he said: “You can go to the doctor and get cut up, you can go down to the dress shop and get made up, you can go down there and get drugged up, but at the end of the day, you are just a drugged-up, dressed-up, made-up, cut-up man or woman.

“You ain’t changed what God put in you, that DNA.”

Mark Robinson’s latest comments about trans rights and gender-affirming care come as several states, including Florida, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, have banned access to gender-affirming care for young trans people.

In 2023 alone, the Human Rights Campaign states it is tracking more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced across America, with 125 gender-affirming care bans currently being proposed.

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