By Mike Triplett

In reference to the role North Carolina members of Congress played in the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James recently compared homosexuals to prostitutes and pedophiles. While we have come to expect this type of pathetic behavior periodically from the good commissioner, what was perhaps equally disconcerting was the feeble response by the default party of conscience, the Democratic majority on the county commission. In a classic example of what your high school civics teacher called “glittering generalities,” the resolution, penned by Commissioner Harold Cogdell, called for tolerance, inclusion and civility. The resolution did not even mention Commissioner James and further failed to reference the hate, discrimination and second-class citizen status heaped on the LGBT community from pulpits, government centers and suburbs across the region. The resolution was even pitiful enough to gain the vote of James himself.

Sadly, this is just another gut-punch to those poor souls who still hold out hope that our current political quagmire can produce wise and compassionate leaders. I think I have seen this movie before; the one where the party of rapacity spews its fairy tales of hate from behind the First Amendment and the party of conscience is predictably appalled (hands clasped over the mouth in Miss America style), but the outrage fizzles as they steer a Toyota Prius toward the local Earth Fare.

Several commissioners, sensing the impudence of their response, claimed that they could not really censure James for his comments. Well, I am not buying it — not from that group of legal eagles and citizen soldiers. Lacking will is not the same as lacking means. Since it is clear that the county commission is unwilling to do so, I will gladly stand and hereby move to censure Commissioner James for managing to further embarrass our city, for promoting oppression in the land of the free and for using his position to legitimize ignorance, hate and violence. Will you stand with me? : :

— Triplett is co-chair of the Charlotte Area Green Party.

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