Friday, December 31, 2010

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Thinks Homosexuals As a Group Are Sexual Predators

This is a very long post, but if you care at all about LGBT issues, DADT repeal, and/or the U.S. military, I promise it's worth slogging through all of it.  I received an "action alert" from a progressive group called CREDO this morning about Commissioner William James, who stated the following in an email response to a coworker who wanted to send a letter of thanks to Congressional leaders from North Carolina who voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell:
"Homosexuals are sexual predators. Allowing homosexuals to serve in the US military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining US 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."
Usually I wouldn't bother even discussing this on my blog.  Like I do for many issues brought to my attention by many different groups, I would send out an email, then notify my Twitter following and Facebook friends that they can do the same.  Today, however, is different because I got an almost immediate response from Commissioner James.  Very few times do the emails I send result in a real response from the official, so I want to make sure everyone who reads this understands that it's a big deal.  Here's our full discussion and I hope that you'll weigh in with your opinions (while of course being respectful both to me and to Commissioner James):

First email* :

December 31, 2010

Commissioner Bill James,

Your recent rhetoric calling gay and lesbian Americans "sexual predators" is
hate speech, plain and simple.  Regardless of your views on the recent
repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, it is utterly unacceptable for a public
official to denigrate an entire class of people by labeling all gays and
lesbians "sexual predators."  I demand that you apologize immediately.

For the record, your position on Don't Ask Don't Tell does not make any
sense.  You must realize that the point of the policy was to allow gays and
lesbians to serve in the military in secret.  This means that gays and
lesbians in the miltiary already shower with and share living facilities
with heterosexuals, and it has had absolutely zero negative impact on
military readiness and effectiveness.

I'm truly embarrassed to come from a state that tolerates hate speech from
its elected officials.  In the future, I and the rest of the citizens of
this state who believe in equality and personal freedom would appreciate it
if you keep your bigotry private.


Michelle Carmon

*The italics indicate the part of the email that Credo provided in the template.  Anything not in italics, I added myself.

First Response:
Homosexual behavior is illegal in NC (NCGS 14-177). We arrest about 250 of
them a year here in Mecklenburg alone.

If you don't like that change the law. Democrats have run Raleigh for 40
years (more or less) and never could muster the votes to do so. The GOP  in
Raleigh won't change it either.

Second Email:

As you've seen with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, changes in the law can take many years.  Cohabitation is illegal in North Carolina, but with the growing number of people my age doing just that prior to or instead of marriage, I expect that law may change in my lifetime as well.  Please remember that for a long time it was illegal for a man to marry a woman of a different race, but that law was overturned in 1967 because it was morally unjust.  Going back further, it is written in the United States Constitution in Article I that 3/5 of the slave population should be counted when determining representation in Congress.  It took a Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery almost 100 years later for that law to be changed.  I'm certain that very few people would accept a proposal that would take us back to the original law and make slavery and disproportionate representation legal again - this was an immoral law that changed with the times.

I strongly believe that the government has a responsibility to uphold the law, but it is clear simply by looking at our nation's past that just because a law is still on the books doesn't mean it's morally acceptable, nor does it mean it is the most appropriate law for our current times.  Therefore, citing the law really does not give you a license to denigrate an entire class of people who are simply trying to live their lives with dignity.

Homosexual behavior does not automatically make one a sexual predator, and saying so is morally wrong.  I am shocked that you think that somehow because a person's choices in their private sexual life are to have sex with adults of the same gender that they are somehow sexual predators.  I know plenty of gay and lesbian individuals and they are certainly not in a class with pedophiles or rapists who perpetrate sexual violence.  As a victim of sexual assault, I find it personally insulting that homosexuality is ever equated with sexually predatory behavior - I can assure you that they are not equal in any regard.  Scientists as far back as the 1970s and 1980s agreed that homosexuality is not even appropriately defined as mental illness.  Current, objective analysis of research that has been done over the years has shown that there has been significant bias and misinformation in prior studies.  The general consensus within the scientific community is that at this time, there is no objective (unbiased), scientific evidence showing that homosexuals are any more likely than heterosexuals to engage in sexually predatory activities, such as child molestation or abuse.

The reason speech like this is harmful should be quite evident.  We have had at least half a dozen children across the nation commit suicide this year because they were bullied by those who thought their real or perceived same-sex attractions made them worthy of ridicule and unbearable harassment.  There are countless others who endure every day in silence.  Speech like yours, that puts these minority children in a category with sexual predators, gives bullies of any age an excuse for treating these people disrespectfully.  I don't want my state to become a place where confused LGBT young people are forced to suffer in silence and shame or even resort to killing themselves because they believe what they are told by authority figures such as yourself - that their attractions, which they have little if any power to control, will cause them to become degenerate sexual predators.  There is simply no evidence that such an accusation is true, but perpetuating this belief can cause real harm.

I confess I am not very well versed in conservative politics, but as I understand it the Republican Party prides itself on advocating for less government intervention and fewer restrictions on personal freedom.  It seems to be a core conservative principle, reaching across party lines to Libertarians and independents, to keep government regulation to a minimum and to get it out of the way of individuals and business so that our economy and our country as a whole can prosper. So not only is the stance that homosexual activity should be banned and the homosexuals prosecuted severely misguided, but it appears to go against the basic principles of personal freedom and small government for which Republicans and conservatives are supposed to fight.  Perhaps the objection to homosexuality really stems not from an empirical, scientific basis but from a fundamentalist religious perspective, which is seen to trump the ideals of limited government.  I certainly believe that every American should be able practice their religion freely, but I do not believe that our laws should be based on religious doctrine when that doctrine serves to marginalize and criminalize a minority group.  It is every person's choice to determine whether or not they wish to discriminate in their personal lives or in their churches, but to extend such discrimination to laws that govern private citizens like myself seems to clearly violate the separation of church and state, a core principle that allows our country to be one of the freest nations in the world.

At any rate, I appreciate that you took the time to send a response.  I have respect for those elected officials who are willing to respond to criticism and explain their actions.  Of course, I do pray that you may one day have a change of heart, or at the very least decide to keep such incendiary speech out of the public sphere.


Michelle Carmon
Raleigh, NC

Second Reponse:
You’re welcome. Attached is my specific write up. I don’t think ALL are sexual predators but I do think the ‘group’ has problems and that homosexual leaders refuse to address them.

If DADT is gone then protections should be afforded heterosexual military.

If gay leaders were truly moral and upright they would condemn the MBLA but no…………. just excuses about ‘freedom of speech’.

The commissioner's write up mentioned above was sent to me as a PDF attachment.  For ease of sharing the statement with you, I'm just going to copy and paste the text below (apologies in advance for the block of text, but the formatting isn't going to copy over):

The Red Phone
As you might have noticed, liberals and homosexuals are all up in arms at the thought that anyone would state the truth that homosexuals are predatory. Not that every homosexual is, but as a group, yes.
With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) immorality has gained a foothold in the barracks and showers of the US Military. Liberals say ‘There have always been homosexuals in the military and nothing has happened’. True, but like a whore in church, homosexuals have been on their best behavior because that behavior was illegal and they didn’t want to risk being kicked out. Now that DADT has been repealed, Congress and the Citizens of the US need to develop rules to protect young heterosexual military members from such predatory behavior by homosexuals.
I can hear liberals screaming into their monitors: “They aren’t predators!”
I disagree. Go down to the Dowd YMCA and let them show you the ‘red phone’. They had to put it in to stop homosexuals from ogling straight business men in the showers and changing rooms. The same upper-crust of Charlotte who claim to be for diversity have to install special equipment to protect themselves from the predatory behavior of homosexuals in a place that should be safe, if homosexuals were not predatory. This isn’t news but it is hypocritical of Charlotte’s Observer elite. Charlotte’s red phone isn’t the only one. All across the US there are procedures in place to prevent homosexuals from preying on men at the Y.
Take a look at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police records and they will show you that the police run ‘sting’ operations to target homosexuals who gather in parks. In most of the last few years, 250 homosexuals have been arrested each year by the CMPD for ‘soliciting a crime against nature’. Homosexual conduct is still illegal in NC but even though it is, the red phone and sting operations are still necessary.
A few years ago the County had to spend big bucks redesigning Kilbourne Park so that it did not attract homosexuals. The County Commission spent your tax dollars to protect you and your kids from homosexuals and joined with the police to run a sting operation to identify and arrest them.
Ultimately, the louder liberals yell; the more irrational homosexuals froth at the mouth; the more I am convinced that I am correct to speak about the matter as the next Congress will have to debate and adopt rules to insure that heterosexuals in the military are not targets of unwanted sexual advances.
This all started because NC Senator Burr (a Republican) voted to repeal DADT without even working out the details on how to protect young service members. Shame on him. The attention on this was focused in media articles because of an ill-conceived letter request from BOCC Chair Jennifer Roberts and my comments that service members would be at risk now that DADT was repealed.
As you might imagine I have received a lot of mail, including some from overseas military. One service member said:
“I am currently in my second tour in Iraq, and I have a ….. address. Thanks for having the courage to speak up. I am afraid that from now on, in the military, I will be punished for speaking up now that immoral conduct is condoned. I prayed that this would not happen, but my prayer was not answered in the way that I wanted it to -- maybe God has other plans for the USA that I do not understand.”
Senator Burr, who voted for this has an extra-ordinary responsibility to fix this and protect heterosexual military men and women.
Currently, Men and Women are separated because it would cause sexual problems if men showered, changed, and maintained personal space with women. That is common sense and basic biology. Now that homosexuals are in the military ‘out and proud’ the US Government (and Burr Specifically) should insure that those that ogle men are separate from those that do not, and those that want to ogle women are separate from those that do not.
If you had a 18 year old daughter (let’s call her ‘Buffy’) and she wanted to serve in the military to afford college (G.I. bill) and serve her country would you want her to share a shower with some 35 year old butch lesbians who ogle her (or worse)? That is what is at stake with the repeal of DADT.
Repealing DADT was a left-wing political move made before Christmas by a lame-duck Democrat Congress. That vote comes with some severe consequences for military readiness. The left-wing of America and radical homosexuals will be out in force to try and prevent any rules that would protect Buffy or her male counterpart, Wally. Young kids who enlist will become sexual targets in the new US Military.
Parents with kids in the military (especially in the enlisted ranks) should band together to demand rules to protect their kids from unwanted advances in personal spaces (barracks, showers, and other areas). They can’t put a ‘red phone’ in every military shower but they could separate homosexuals and put them with their own.
The louder they scream the more I know I am right to bring the matter up and Challenge Senator Burr to fix this. The fate of thousands of young military men and women (not to mention the military readiness of the US) hang in the balance.
Commissioner Bill James (R, District 6)
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners
600 East Fourth Street, 11th Floor
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Facebook: Meckcommish

Now that you're aware of our two diametrically opposed positions on this issue, I'd appreciate your thoughts. If you'd like to comment directly to Commissioner James, you may do so through CREDO (which I've verified does get a direct, prompt response) or through one of his publicly posted contact methods.  I look forward to hearing your perspective!

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. He is right the law does need to be changed. i'm assuming when he says "homosexual" sex he is refering to anal sex which is illegal in many places. Laws like that are stupid and pointless and waste taxpayer money and law enforcements time. Assuming someone actually files a complaint about anal sex or any same-sex sexual action. Hell they might as well arrest my husband and I for what we do. The couple of hundred of arrest he is refering to where probably out in public and could have involved heterosexuals, homosexuals, or even groups. Since he conviently doesn't provide a link to these so called stats it's just a hatemongers word againist reality.

    Now onto his DADT nonsense. As a military spouse I have first hand knowledge on what life is like on a military base. DADT is out of touch with the reality of military life. People are out in squads and units across the country and overseas. Some don't need to ask nor do the people need to tell, it's that damn obvious! Kicking out quailifed people when we are already drastically undermanned is STUPID, Dangerous, and increases our chances of seeing casualites because we dont have the highly trainied individuals we need! By removing DADT we allow memebers to retain their jobs despite who they share their lives with, better yet to quote my husband "I don't give a damn who they are fucking so long as they do their damn job". We also increase our forces across the board, we are further able to reach individuals who are seeking higher education because colleges will reinstate their ROTC programs *many of the top rated colleges in the US dropped their programs because of DADT and that resulted in a loss of highly qualified individuals there as well*.

    People are out, no one cares. Except some sorry politico from NC who counldn't even pass a PT test. Try fighting for our country first if you plan to speak for those of us who have scarficed time, energy, love ones for this country!

    Sorry for ranting in your comments section Elle...I just hate fuckers like this! They don't know the reality because they are too busy getting their baggage lifted by some call-boy! Ugh!