North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis has criticized a fellow representative's suggestion that pedophilia, masochism and other illegal sexual practices are sexual orientations like homosexuality
The comments were made Tuesday during a debate on charter schools by Rep. Paul Stam, a Wake County Republican.
Stam was opposing an amendment that would have prohibited charter schools from discriminating against applicants based on their sexual orientation.
Stam is the Majority Leader in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
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.
Tills said Stam's comments were not helpful to the respectful approach the body should be taking on a policy issue like charter schools.
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A Wake County lawmaker has suggested that adults being sexually attracted to children is a sexual orientation like homosexuality during a debate over changes to the state's public charter schools
One amendment presented during Tuesday's House debate would have prohibited charter schools from discriminating against applicants based on their sexual orientation.
The amendment was turned down. But during the debate, Republican Rep. Paul Stam said pedophilia was a sexual orientation like homosexuality and questioned the role adults who are sexually attracted to children might have in schools.
Several lawmakers called those comments offensive.
The House approved the changes to the charter school law, including making them subject to state open records law and allowing them to grow one grade level per year.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.