On Monday night at the close of our last legislative session for this year, I made a statement in solidarity with LGBTQ North Carolinians in response to Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s recent, hateful statements about that community. He presides over the Senate, and I could not remain silent under his gavel any longer.
Following the session, the Lt. Governor confronted me in the hallway outside the Senate Chamber, shaking his finger in my face and yelling that he didn’t appreciate my comments. A portion of this confrontation was caught on video by my colleague Sen. Natasha Marcus.
My colleague @MayfieldforNC made statements in support of #LGBTQ Equality during session tonight. The Lt Gov was so mad that he berated Sen Mayfield outside the chamber. I caught the tail end of his rant on video. pic.twitter.com/8EuCPYkhwz
— Senator Natasha Marcus (@NatashaMarcusNC) November 29, 2021
As your Senator, I want you to know that I will not be bullied — by the Lt. Governor or anyone else — especially when it comes to human rights and showing basic decency and respect for others. There are no lesser people and, if the Lt. Governor thinks there are, then maybe he’s in the wrong job. As I stated on the floor of the Senate, we have a higher obligation to represent all of our constituents, even if we don’t agree with them. Here is the video of my comments, and the full text is below.
I announced last week that I’m running for re-election to continue to serve you, to fight for you, and to defend you when necessary. The confrontation on Monday night is just the latest example of my passion and compassion, not just for the people of my district but for all North Carolinians.
Please help me continue fighting for you by supporting my campaign – with a donation or volunteering. And thank you for letting me represent you.
Sen. Mayfield Comments – November 29, 2021
About a month ago, I attended a ceremony to unveil three historical markers in Asheville, honoring three young African American men lynched in Buncombe County in the late 1800s. Their names were Bob Brackett, Hezekiah Rankin, and John Humphries.
They are three of the thousands of black people who were beaten or killed by racist white mobs who saw black people as less than human, as other, as undeserving even of basic respect. And we know that these mobs often acted with the support of law enforcement and elected officials.
The ceremony reminded me that, as elected leaders, we have a responsibility to serve all of our constituents, not just those who look like us. Or think like us. Or worship at the same church as us.
We are here to serve everyone, even if we may not understand them. Even if they didn’t and never will vote for us. And yes, even if they love differently from us. It is my hope that as civic leaders, we strive to understand our constituents and represent them regardless of those differences.
And it is folly to think that we can ever speak in public and completely divorce ourselves from our elected office. Indeed, most of us are invited to speak to groups because of our public position, not in spite of it. So it is a convenient fiction that we can say something in a particular forum and not expect to be held accountable for those words in another.
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.
So I stand in solidarity with LGBTQ North Carolinians because, for me, silence is complicity. I hope all of you who believe in fairness and equality will join me in advocating for equal protection under the law and the fundamental recognition that all people are human beings deserving of respect.