CHAPEL HILL – Senator Ben Clark—one of the sponsors behind a bill seeking to strike down UNC’s gender-neutral housing—says he’s been misquoted about why he doesn’t agree with opposite-sex living arrangements.

“I said nothing about students needing to focus on this or focus on that—I believe our students are probably quite focused on their curriculums while they are attending the various universities,” said Clark, who represents Cumberland and Hoke counties.

The Democrat senator says the words of Republican Sen. David Curtis, a co-sponsor of “UNC Dormitory Rules” Senate Bill 658, have been attributed to him.

Curtis said that he believes the UNC system is getting further away from what he believes it should be concentrating on by adopting gender-neutral housing— slated to come into affect this fall.

“The core values are education and research and I think that they may be going down the wrong path. They are concerned about some other issues that they really don’t need to be concerned about,” Curtis said.

Senator Clark says UNC students and faculty know what they should be concentrating on. He says that not why he’s supporting the bill.

“The values of which I speak are that males have their living spaces and the females have theirs and the two do not mix,” Clark said.

Bill 658 seeks to overturn a previous decision by the UNC Board of Trustees in November of 2012 adopting the “gender-neutral” housing policy. 

“You can call me old-fashioned if you like, but I have taken no actions out of malice or hatred towards anyone,” Clark said.

Clark says he’s not anti-social rights. He says he made a “forceful statement” against Amendment One to the Fayetteville Observer last year, and also voted against the bill that repealed the Racial Justice Act.