State Rep. Paul Stam’s comments about sexual orientation Tuesday during debate on a charter school amendment brought headlines, rebukes and a clarification from the N.C. Psychiatric Association.
Stam, an Apex Republican, had compiled a list that included beastiality, pedophilia and homosexuality under the header “What is Sexual Orientation?” citing the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” published in 2000 as the source.
The N.C. Psychiatric Association released a statement Wednesday, saying “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.”
The other categories on the list Stam handed out were not listed as sexual orientations by the APA in 2000, but rather disorders.
The amendment Stam was arguing against would have included protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and banned schools from discriminating on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Stam said Tuesday that he was only trying to get the author of the amendment to define sexual orientation.
The amendment was tabled. A vote on the bill is now scheduled for Thursday. Expect a new amendment from Rep. Marcus Brandon, a Democrat from High Point.