A Republican lawmaker in North Carolina compared gays to a whole slew of sexual disorders, including pedophilia and bestiality, in a debate about LGBT discrimination Tuesday on the state House floor.
During the discussion, state House Speaker Pro Tempore Paul “Skip” Stam passed around a handout featuring information from the American Psychiatric Association that listed pedophilia and bestiality as “sexual orientations,” according to Raleigh TV station WRAL. The chamber was debating a proposed amendment to a bill on charter school modifications that would bar discrimination based on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in both hiring and admissions.
“Sexual orientation is not defined anywhere. I have here 30 different types of sexual orientation,” Stam said, as quoted by WRAL. “I thought we should exclude pedophilia, masochism, and sadism, which are sexual orientations.”
Stam did not mention that the information in his handout, which dated back to 2000, had been updated in the APA manual to classify those attractions as “disorders” rather than “orientations,” according to the news station.
Some members of the House took issue with Stam’s handout, including state Rep. Marcus Brandon (D), the only openly gay member of the North Carolina legislature.
“Pedophilia is not a sexuality, and we cannot continue in this body to keep calling things something [they’re] not. It’s offensive to a whole group of people,” he said, as quoted by WRAL. “It is a disease and a problem that has to be addressed outside of this body.”
House Speaker Thom Tillis (R), who is running for Senate against Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), issued a statement to WRAL through a campaign spokesman that called his second-in-command’s comments “not helpful.”