County Commissioner says gays are "sexual predators"

County Commissioner says gays are "sexual predators"

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by Ann Sheridan / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 1:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 29 at 8:44 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It came in an e-mail from a county commissioner.  "Homosexuals are sexual predators," wrote Commissioner Bill James in an e-mail to fellow commissioners and County Manager Harry Jones.

James was responding to County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts who wanted to thank North Carolina senators and representatives who supported the DADT repeal act.

It's not the first time James has made anti-gay comments.  Just last year he and fellow commissioner Vilma Leake were physically moved and separated after James referred to Leake's son, who died from AIDS,  in a derogatory manner.

Richard Thomas is chair of  MeckPAC, a Gay and Lesbian Political Action Committee.  "I'm sitting here thinking how classy of a city are we if we're allowing that kind of rhetoric?"

Thomas is answering e-mails from angry citizens who say they're fed up with James.  They plan to attend an upcoming board meeting to ask other commissioners to speak out against James' comments.  

"I feel like where are our leaders?  Why are our leaders not taking a stand against this type of speech?" he asked.

Several other commissioners said they didn't want to be included on an e-mail supporting the repeal. 

Commissioner Jim Pendergraph wrote, "Whatever you send, don't put my name on it.  I don't see this as anything to be proud of." 

Harold Cogdell, Jr. wrote, "I don't believe any of us should be voicing our support for, opposition to or position regarding any issue on behalf of the BOCC unless our board has taken an official position on such issue..."

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