North Carolina House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam on Tuesday said a proposed gay marriage ban would protect children.

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, including the marriage amendment, to the ballot box in 2012.

Portions of the conference were captured on video and posted on YouTube by the Raleigh-based conservative group Civitas Institute. Not posted were Stam's assertions that a gay marriage ban would protect children and that any argument in favor of gay marriage would support incest and polygamy.

When a reporter asked why the amendment was necessary, Stam answered: “It protects the children of the next generation. We see in countries around the world where they legitimize same-sex marriage that marriage itself is depreciated. I think you'll find that the impetus for same-sex marriage is not for same-sex people to get married – very, very few of them do – rather it is to delegitimize marriage as an institution, as a whole. That will affect your children and grandchildren, because all social science research demonstrates that's the best way for children to be raised. So you have to look to the future to see the true advantages of this.”

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 employers.