To challenge an amendment that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation at charter schools, a Republican in North Carolina's state legislature argued that pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality are also sexual orientations, according to the News Observer.
Rep. Paul Stam passed out copies of "What Is Sexual Orientation?" a two-page paper from the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” issued in 2000 that classifies bestiality, fetishism and sadism as sexual orientation.
"Sexual orientation is not defined anywhere. I have here 30 different types of sexual orientation," Stam said, according to WRAL. "I thought we should exclude pedophilia, masochism, and sadism, which are sexual orientations."
The APA has since redefined pedophilia and other categories as "disorders" not orientations, not that Stam mentioned that. In 2010 he used the same outdated pamphlet to argue against including sexual orientation in school bullying.
While several of Stam's fellow lawmakers called his comments "shameful" and "ridiculous," Stam has been speaking out against gay rights for years. In 2012 he was among a group of Republicans from North Carolina who wanted a vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the 2012 ballot, according to The Huffington Post. Stam has also compared gay marriage to incest and polygamy. "What I'm saying is, you cannot construct an argument for same sex-marriage that would not also justify philosophically the legalization of polygamy and adult incest," Stam said at the time.
As it turns out, Stam didn't even need to waste his breath — the amendment, which would have "prohibit(ed) a charter school from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity," according to WRAL, was tabled.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.