December 17th, 2009
Bill James is a member of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, serving as representative for the suburbs of Charlotte, NC. He considers himself a conservative Republican, attends an evangelical church, and sends his kids to a private Christian school.
Bill James is also an insensitive jerk on a colossal scale.
Last night the Mecklenburg commissioners voted 6 – 3 to provide benefits to the same-sex partners of gay employees in the same way that they do for their heterosexual employees. In the debate one commissioner, Velma Leake spoke passionately about a personal connection she had to the issue. (WFAE)
After about 90 minutes of debate, Commissioner Vilma Leake spoke up for the first time in support of extending benefits to the same-sex spouses of gay employees.
She invoked the memory of her son.
“…And to think about, one, that I had a son that I birthed that I died of AIDS, and I did not know that in 2010 I would be sitting here to defend that process and his lifestyle, so I stand gloriously to vote for this issue….:
Then, a smiling Bill James leaned over and spoke to Leake.
“Your son was a homo, really?” James said.
Most people – well, all decent people who are not raging a$$holes – having realized that they had used a slur in speaking of the dead child of another human being, would have been remorseful and conciliatory. Most people strive to go through life without intentionally causing pain to others or gleefully delighting in the harm they leave in their wake.
Bill James is not most people.
In response to the controversy, James emailed the following statement to a local station:
Vilma is a religious hypocrite.
She was married to a Bishop in the AME Zion church. A church that has historically opposed homosexuality.
She used her son\’s ‘lifestyle\’ and his death from HIV-AIDS to justify in public voting for benefits to allow more individuals to use tax dollars to engage in the very behavior that resulted in her son\’s death.
It is akin to someone whose son is an alcoholic and died from the disease, using his death from drinking as justification to have the taxpayers pay for more booze.
Her position was that her ‘faith\’ demanded that she do this to support her son and his ‘lifestyle\’ which she acknowledges killed him.
Since she didn\’t define what ‘lifestyle\’ she was referring to, so I asked her. Asking the question is completely legitimate since she used him as the basis for explaining her public vote.
Her response to me was threaten violence. This is also nothing new for Vilma as she did that on the School Board as well.
Leake: “Don’t make me hurt you. Don’t do that to me. Don’t talk to me about my son.”
Well, with all due respect to Ms. Leake – if she didn\’t want to talk about her son then why did she use his death from his ‘lifestyle\’ contracting HIV/AIDS as the public justification for spending tax dollars to support the very behavior that killed her son.
I have nothing more to say about Bill James.
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