Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James emailed his colleagues after Congress passed legislation repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," calling gay people "sexual predators" who would harm U.S. national security if allowed to serve openly in the military. In the wake of that incident, 37,000 Change.org members joined with activists in Charlotte and across North Carolina, calling for anti-gay speech like this to be condemned. The attention prompted passage of a resolution by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners condemning homophobic vitriol, and affirming that Mecklenburg County places a priority on equality for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
North Carolina had some shining moments this month, at least when it came to LGBT politics. Several members of its congressional delegation in the U.S. House, and both U.S. Senators from the state, voted in favor of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the military's ban on openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops.
The success of that vote prompted Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts to circulate a letter to her Republican and Democratic colleagues, asking them to sign on to a bipartisan 'thank you' note to these officials, for standing up for the principle of equality.
Only one Mecklenburg Commissioner didn't want to hear it. And he was all too pleased to let his colleagues know it.
"Homosexuals are sexual predators," Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James (pictured above, all the way to the right) wrote in an email to his colleagues, which was submitted to qnotes, an LGBT publication in North Carolina. "Allowing homosexuals to serve in the U.S. military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining U.S. military readiness and effectiveness not the least of which is the current Democrat plan to allow homosexuals (male and female) to share showers with those they are attracted to.”
It's only the latest outburst from James, who previously made fun of a colleague whose son died of complications from AIDS, who once said all LGBT shove gerbils and hamsters up their rectums, and who said that people of color "live in a moral sewer." Is this really a politician that the rest of Mecklenburg County wants representing them?
Urge the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to officially censure James for his latest outburst. This can't be the national reputation that official in Mecklenburg County want to build for their community.