NC lawmaker: Pedophilia is like homosexuality

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Republican Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake

RALEIGH, N.C. — Discussion of a charter school bill took an unusual turn in the North Carolina House Tuesday, according to WTVD-TV.

As lawmakers debated a proposal to prevent charter schools from discriminating against applicants based on sexual orientation and gender identity, one representative suggested that adult sexual attraction to children is a sexual orientation like homosexuality.

During the debate, Republican Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, said pedophilia, masochism and other illegal sexual practices are sexual orientations like homosexuality and he questioned the role adults who are sexually attracted to children might have in schools.

Several lawmakers called those comments offensive. After the House session, Twitter lit up with criticism of Stam’s comments from other lawmakers and left-leaning advocacy groups.

“To use really severe issues to say that’s how sexual orientation is defined is really offensive,” said Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg.

The amendment from Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe, would “prohibit a charter school from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

In response, Stam handed out a sheet listing what he said were 30 sexual orientations. He argued the definition of sexual orientation must be narrowed; otherwise it would include masochism, sadism, pedophilia, along with homosexuality and heterosexuality.

“Sexual orientation is not defined anywhere,” he said. “Many, many sexual orientations are not the ones you want to have teaching kids in schools. You may think you know what you mean by this but you don’t.”

Stam asked Fisher to take a question, and she refused. No one else in the chamber would either.

“Well I think the response speaks for itself,” he said.

In rebuttal to Stam, Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, argued that pedophilia is not a sexual orientation.

“It’s offensive. Pedophilia is not sexuality. It is a disease. It is a problem that has to be addressed outside of this body,” said Brandon, who said the bigger issue in North Carolina is policies that treat some people as second-class citizens. “I don’t think you should be able to do that.”

ABC11 spoke with Stam over the phone, he declined an interview but said, “if someone wants to use the term sexual orientation in a bill, tell us what they mean.”

On its website, the American Psychological Association says sexual orientation “refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes,” and also refers to a person’s sense of identity. It also says, “The American Psychological Association maintains that pedophilia is a mental disorder; that sex between adults and children is always wrong; and that acting on pedophilic impulses is and should be a criminal act.”

The House approved the changes to the charter school law, including making them subject to state open records law, allowing them to grow one grade level per year.

It also removed a provision prohibiting charter schools from discriminating against applications on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender or disability.

Cotham said the amendment to add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list has been tabled and likely will not be revisited since it does not have the votes to pass.

The bill also allows schools with single gender missions to limit admission on the basis of boys and girls, which the previous version had banned.

Charter school teachers also would be allowed to serve on the school’s board of directors as non-voting members and make charter renewals valid for 10 years, unless specific conditions warrant a shorter charter.


  • FaithC

    His remarks are truly offensive. I understand what he is trying to say, but he should have found a different way to say it. Do these politicians listen to what comes out of their mouth and bother to run it past anyone before they say it.

  • Queen Bee

    Politicians like him make me very sad for the state of our country. That kind of ignorance is a clear indication of the direction we are headed. I’d like to see a clear headed politician who fought for the people who voted for him/her regardless of his/her personal feelings on the subject.

  • blairolina

    Sorry, but he is right. That’s just the truth of the matter. Offensive, maybe but truth is truth whether it offends or not,

    • WeBuiltThisCountry

      Are you stupid, petafiles molest innocent children because they want control over them, the same as a rapest. You are a pervert and need to be placed on a watch list.

    • BOZ

      This truth of which you speak, what is your verifiable source? The Bible is not a credible source, so don’t say that. I haven’t found the Bible in the reference section of the library.

      Homosexuality is closer to race. One cannot choose their sexual orienation, nor their race. Ask yourself, when did you first realize that you were heterosexual? If you say “I’ve always known,” then you have the same answer as most everyone, regardless of orientation

      “During the debate, Republican Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, said pedophilia, masochism and other illegal sexual practices are sexual orientations like homosexuality and he questioned the role adults who are sexually attracted to children might have in schools.”
      Rep. Stam believes that homosexuality and masochism are in the same category, but they are not. This is like me saying that skin color and the ability to whistle are directly correlated. Whistling is a learned, developed thing, where race is not something that one can develop. Given, whistling ability and pedophilia are not at all related, but you understand my point. Pedophiles have a mental condition that has developed, they were not born with pedophilia. By Stam’s logic, masochism is something that one is born with and cannot control, like skin color. He is also implying that “illegal sexual practices” are also something determined in the womb.

      That’s just the truth of the matter. Offensive, maybe, but truth is truth whether it offends or not (and is actual, credible, information that can be tested again and again with consistent results. see: science).

    • Deanna Caldwell

      I think he is probably correct. Pedophilia is likely a wrong sort of wiring in the brain that causes a deviation from the norm the same as homosexuality. The difference, however, is that pedophilia is an orientation that is obviously injurious to one of the parties involved and, therefor, unacceptable in our society. Homosexuality, as practiced by two consenting adults, causes harm to no one. Any sexuality that is non consensual or causes harm just cannot be tolerated no matter how innate it is. Just because pedophilia is so abhorrent to us, it doesn’t make the fact that it is likely another form of sexual orientation any less true. Some orientations are acceptable and some are just too harmful to be tolerated.

  • thasright

    All he was saying was that they need to be careful how they word the bill so that others who consider themselves pedophiles by orientation (even thought that’s wrong, I’m sure there are people out there that think that.) or others who shouldnt be included in the bill, wont be able to use the law to protect themselves and get into the school systems. I don’t see how that is offensive. He wasn’t comparing anything to pedophilia… he was making sure they defined very specifically what they mean by sexual orientation so that it cannot be twisted by people later.

  • Smith

    Read your news everyday and put your mind where it was intended. May not be the best presentation or taken as intended but don’t scar the point. There have been at least 10 such stories in the news in the last month. If you have children who will be in schools, do you want that risk for them or do you want them protected? He’s trying to protect children even if he went about it the wrong way.

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