North Carolina House Majority Leader
Paul “Skip” Stam on Tuesday likened gay marriage to incest and
The 61-year-old Stam made his remarks
during a noontime press conference on a proposed constitutional
amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state. Lawmakers will
return to Raleigh on September 12 to begin a special session on
constitutional amendments which will consider whether to send three
issues to the ballot box in 2012.
When asked by a reporter whether the
amendment was “a reach of government into the individuals' lives?”
Stam answered: “Well 90 percent of all laws affect people's lives,
so that's an argument without any content to it. … We prohibit
adult incest, we prohibit polygamy. What would be their answer to
that? We're involved in people's lives. That's a slogan without
“What I'm saying is,” Stam went on
to explain, “you cannot construct an argument for same sex-marriage
that would not also justify philosophically the legalization of
polygamy and adult incest.” (The audio is embedded in the right
panel of this page.)
Stam later suggested that being gay was
When asked how the ban would differ
from miscegenation laws, Stam answered: “People can't change their race.
They can't chose their race. And there was no biological basis for
it to start with, whereas ...”
“People can chose their sexual
orientation?” a reporter asked.
“I don't, you know, some do, some
don't,” he responded.
Standing besides Stam at the news
conference was House Speaker Pro Tempore Dale Folwell.
Folwell and Stam, both Republicans,
also denied that the Senate's version of the measure, which
explicitly bans other unions in addition to marriage, would outlaw
domestic partner benefits currently offered by private sector