North Carolina Commissioner Refers to “De-Infesting” Areas of Gays

At a hearing concerning domestic partner benefits, Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James took a slightly different tact on the issue: referring to gays as if they were vermin. James spoke of the effort to “de-infest” areas where gays “congregate.”

According to witnesses, Democrat Commissioner Vilma Leake gave an impassioned account of her son’s 1993 death to AIDS. After she spoke, James reportedly leaned over to her and asked, “Your son was a homo, really?”

James later said that he would not apologize for his remarks. He said “homo” is just slang and not meant to be insulting. He added “[p]eople can believe whatever they want, they can believe in the tooth fairy and legend of Atlantis. I don’t determine what I do based on what people think. I determine it based on what I did and what I did was I asked a question and that question doesn’t deserve or require an apology.”

In an email, he told one resident that police were “de-infesting” areas of gays:

“Homosexual conduct is illegal in NC (even after Lawrence V Texas). We arrest 250 homosexuals each year in Mecklenburg alone for either a ‘crime against nature’ or ‘solicitation of a crime against nature’. Unlike prostitution (exchanging money), even suggesting homosexual sex is a criminal offense in NC. If we were all that ‘progressive’ would we be arresting 250 homosexuals a year? Setting up sting operations to de-infest areas where they congregate? Point is, if you want to delude yourself that homosexual conduct is ‘ok’ go ahead. The law, the police and the DA however have a different view.”

The breathtaking ignorance of the law by James is only matched by his equally breathtaking absence of decency. If 250 people are being arrested for being homosexual in North Carolina, they will have 250 constitutional claims filed against them. Moreover, while it may be a crime in Iran to suggest a homosexual act, it is not an enforceable crime anywhere in America. If he is referring to solicitation of a sexual act in a public area, it is not confined to homosexual acts.

Yet, James believes that arrest statistics as opposed to the clear language of Lawrence v. Texas controls on the constitutional debate: “When someone trots out Lawrence v. Texas, I trot out the arrest statistics,” he said. “I say if Lawrence v. Texas is the law of the land, why are there all these arrests? And that ends the discussion usually.”

When asked about his choice of the use of the word “de-infest,” James stated:

“I think that if you’re someone who is homosexual and you believe that you are born that way and have every right to engage in that behavior, I think the offensive thing, I would surmise, is not the word ‘infest’ or ‘de-infest’ but the fact that the police are actually doing the sting operations. We can parse words — what phrase should I have used? But the central question for most people is not what particular term got used but whether the action was occurring. Was I accurate in saying there are these sting operations going on and those sting operations — whatever term you want to use — target homosexual men? That is why the county took and spent significant amounts of money to rework the park to take out certain landscaping things to prevent, once the sting operations cleared them out, prevent them from re-congregating — or re-infesting if you use my original term.”

On his website, he lists as some of his favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt:

“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong”

“You cannot help small men by tearing down big men”

The commissioners have discussed a reprimand for James but have expressed uncertainty what it might say or whether it will be proposed. In the meantime, gays and lesbians in Mecklenburg County are protesting James’ statements and views.

For the full story, here.

20 thoughts on “North Carolina Commissioner Refers to “De-Infesting” Areas of Gays”

  1. Oh, I meant to point out the irony of these fat, pasty guys talking smack about someone else’s “lifestyle choices.” Really?

  2. Why do these right-wing tur, er, I mean fine gentlemen tend to look similar? When I look at the photo of the “vinegar-based personal cleansing product” in question here, I’m reminded of Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich. Do they all make an effort to be pasty, fat and balding?

    “Not now dear, I’m eating ice cream, avoiding the sun and plucking hair out of my scalp so I can rise to a position of prominence in the Republican party…”

    I’m also struck by how high the correlation appears to be between being a pathetic looser and people who love Ayn Rand, and use quotes like the above about strong/weak people. I’ll bet this charming gentleman would wildly deny that his being a “white”, straight, male gives him privilege and advantages over others in American society. Just imagine where he’d be if he had to compete on equal footing against a smart, “black” lesbian for a job. Lucky for him, he lives in a society where he doesn’t have to compete on an equal footing.

  3. This guy is just a dumb ass, he has Teddy Roosevelt quotes up on his web site. TR wasn’t exactly a conservative.

    Are we conservatives just dumber than rat feces? I am beginning to think so. I am now suffering from self loathing seeing as how I am a member of this guys party.

    I want a third party or at the very least for Mr. Bill James and Tootie to go form a third party.

  4. It’s a perfect illustration of why civil rights issues need to be addressed on a federal level.

  5. he’s probably a regular at the local rest stop cruising area. these guys usually wind up in the news for some sort of “unflattering” conduct.

  6. Mack:

    “Watch this guy close, because I’ll bet dollars to dimes he will be caught in some lewd act before you know it.”


    Under the obsolete meaning of “lewd” he already has been.

  7. Watch this guy close, because I’ll bet dollars to dimes he will be caught in some lewd act before you know it.

  8. Here’s a statement from homophobe and unemployed CPA Bill James about his colleague, Vilma Leake, who lost her son to AIDS. You’ll find it sweet, compassionate, and very Republican:

    In the statement, BJames says:

    “Vilma is a religious hypocrite.”

    ”She was married to a Bishop in the AME Zion church. This church has historically opposed homosexuality.”

    “In justifying her position last night in public she used her son’s ‘lifestyle’ and his death from HIV-AIDS to justify voting for benefits to allow individuals to use tax dollars to engage in the same 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.”

    “In doing so, it is legitimate to ask her what ‘lifestyle’ and in particular whether her son was a homosexual. Her response was to threaten me with physical violence (typical for her). Of course, this isn’t the first time she has threatened elected officials. On the School Board she had a long and checkered history threatening to harm those she disagrees with.”

    “Well, if she didn’t want to make her ‘son’ an issue – why did she use him, his lifestyle and his tragic self-inflicted death from AIDS as the reason for her vote?”

  9. His words could be turned right back on him to insure that we “de-infest” areas where FAT, WHITE-BOY, KLAN members from North Carolina congregate…. Same..Same???

  10. Tim in SF,

    We do not allow nautical terms within this blawg…we try to use only clean, wholesome words.

  11. “Bill James took a slightly different tact on the issue”

    It’s tack, not tact. It’s a nautical term for the direction in which you are sailing.

  12. The reprimand should definitely include his favorite quotes. What a horrible person, filled with hatred.

  13. rcampbell,

    I have read a lot about the atrocities committed in the name of Germany. This was before the internet. That was back in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s for the folks never having to spend time in a real library.

    The similarities between the way this country is running and Pre-Nazi Germany is astonishingly amazing. Not that I know everything that there is to know, but I bet if this were a category on Jeopardy I would clean up.

    It is scary to know what has happened and what will happen, if the event keep running the course or is that coarse that they are going…..

  14. AY

    “Geeze, does the GOP stand for the Nazi Party as a whole or just the SS?”

    In this guy’s case it’s “Nazi ass a whole”

  15. De-Infesting is that anything like Delousing? Nazi Germany did not have any use for them folks either, that were known…found out….Geeze, does the GOP stand for the Nazi Party as a whole or just the SS?

  16. even suggesting homosexual sex is a criminal offense in NC.

    Now thats one that the History of the Act, Statue would be nice to know the history of. Did it come about after the 1860’s and all of these Carpetbaggers came to help the unruly South get back in line with the general consensus of the North?

    Are there Homo’s up North? Does doing it with you Horse count? How how abbbout Sheep? I bet thats why they have sheeples on there churches….

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