A longtime Republican lawmaker from Apex caused an uproar in 2014 when he argued that sexual orientation should not be a protected class because – in addition to homosexuality – it includes pedophilia, incest, necrophilia, prostitution, bestiality and other illegal acts.
The comments by Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam came during a debate over an amendment that would prohibit charter schools from discriminating against applicants based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
"Many, many sexual orientations are not ones you want to have teaching kids in school,” Stam argued as lawmakers debated whether to add LGBTQ protection. “You may think you know what you mean by this, but you don't."
Stam handed out a flyer headlined “What Is A ‘Sexual Orientation.’ ” It included mental disorders such as apotemnophilia (sexual arousal associated with the stump of an amputee) and coprophilia (sexual arousal associated with feces). He cited the American Psychiatric Association’s 2000 “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”
The flyer appeared to be the same so-called “Dirty 30” list that the conservative Traditional Values Coalition has distributed. Stam circulated the same list in 2010 when he argued against including sexual orientation in a law against school bullying.
In response, the N.C. Psychiatric Association issued a statement: “The (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) does not characterize homosexuality as a disorder, but rather as a normal human variant. This is the position, based on current science, held by the APA and all other major medical organizations in the United States.
“The American Psychiatric Association eliminated homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM in 1974, and the NCPA and APA strongly oppose discrimination against LGBT people in hiring and in any other context.”
According to the APA’s website: “Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to members of one’s own sex) and bisexual (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to both men and women).”
Alleged hate crimes
Raleigh police have investigated six cases so far this year in which people were allegedly targeted because of their sexual orientation. Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said there likely are instances of intimidation and communication of threats the police never hear about.
In one case, the victim waited six weeks before going to police. She said she was in a bar on Glenwood Avenue, wearing a shirt that identified her as lesbian. She said another woman in the bar called her a derogatory name, then followed her outside. The woman’s male companion pushed her into a car, the victim told police, fracturing some of her ribs.
Of 23 hate crime incidents based on sexual orientation that were reported from North Carolina for inclusion in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2014 (the most recent report), four occurred in Raleigh. Sughrue outlined what happened in each case:
▪ One involved text messages with anti-gay remarks.
▪ A woman was charged with simple assault after she attacked a man because he brought his gay boyfriend to her apartment.
▪ A neighbor allegedly threatened a gay couple because of their sexual orientation.
▪ A woman allegedly pushed and slapped her daughter’s companion when she discovered them in a romantic situation.