Equality NC Responds to Proposed LGBT Protections, Anti-LGBT Rhetoric on N.C. House Floor
Raleigh, N.C. – Today, Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) introduced an amendment to pending charter school legislation (SB793) that would prohibit a state-funded charter school from discriminating against students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The amendment would add protections for gay and transgender students to other enumerated categories such as national origin, gender, and disability. After a brief debate on the House floor, the Amendment was eventually tabled.
During debate, Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam (R-Wake) took objection to the addition of "sexual orientation" as a protected class for students, stating that "pedophila" and "masochism" are one of 30 sexual ” orientations” he claimed exist. Stam went on to circulate a misleading handout to fellow House members on "What is Sexual Orientation?"
Stam's remarks were immediately followed by a rebuttal from Rep. Marcus Brandon (D-Guilford), the N.C. General Assembly's only openly-gay member, saying, "no school should be able to deny you [because you are LGBT.]"
Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenburg) took to Twitter following the Wake County Republican's anti-gay statements, responding, "I am disgusted by Rep. Stam's hurtful and harmful words. I am also embarrassed. #ncpol #shameful #ignorance."
Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, immediately praised Rep. Fisher's proposed amendment to protect gay and transgender youth while also condemning Stam's anti-LGBT remarks.