State Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, an Apex Republican, rankled his fellow lawmakers and others with comments Tuesday he made on the House floor likening pedophilia and sadism to sexual orientations, as opposed to sexual perversions.
Stam is one of the most socially conservative lawmaker in the legislature, and was a leading proponent of 2012’s Amendment One that further codified a ban in North Carolina on same-sex marriage. He made his comments Tuesday during a debate over whether public charter schools should be banned from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring or admissions.
“Sexual orientation is not defined anywhere. I have here 30 different types of sexual orientation,” Stam said, according to Raleigh television station WRAL. “I thought we should exclude pedophilia, masochism, and sadism, which are sexual orientations.”
He also handed out information(click here and here to read) from an outdated 2000 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) on sexual paraphilias that listed a number of sexual perversions and disorders as well as homosexuality. The American Psychiatric Association in 2013 said it erroneously listed disorders like pedophilia under the sexual orientation classification in the updated DSM-V manual.
As Speaker Pro-Tem, Stam is the second-highest ranking Republican in the House, behind N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis. Tilllis, who is challenging Democrat Kay Hagan in the high-profile U.S. Senate race, was called on by gay rights advocates to denounce Stam’s comments.
Tillis said Stam’s comments were “not helpful” in an emailed statement to Raleigh television station WRAL.
State Rep. Marcus Brandon, a High Point Democrat and the only openly gay member of the state legislature, told Stam that his comments were offense.
“It’s offensive to a whole group of people,” Brandon said. “Pedophilia is not a sexuality.”
Below are the handouts Stam gave to fellow lawmakers: