Mecklenburg County commissioners are expected to vote tonight on a resolution that supports equality for gay and transgender residents, in a direct counter to comments made recently by fellow commissioner, Bill James.
James made headlines last week after releasing a newsletter that pinned “homosexuals as predators” while arguing against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” James has refused to apologize for his comments but his colleagues say they won’t stand for the anti-LGBT speech.
“I felt that the image of our community was being impacted in a way that did not reflect the core values of what Charlotte-Mecklenburg is really about,” Commissioner Harold Codgdell, the author of the resolution, told The Charlotte Observer.
The resolution says:
“...the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners affirms, proclaims and declares its public support for community values that embrace and promote equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion; and stands united in firm opposition to inflammatory speech that may cause bullying, intimidation, harassment, persecution or discriminatory treatment of any individual because of their race, color, sex, religion or creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation or disability."
Organizers in North Carolina are encouraging residents to contact their county representatives today to tell them to support the proposed resolution.
Below is the contact information for each commissioner and a sample script, issued by advocacy group Credo Action.
Karen Bentley (Dist. 1) -- 704-432-3997
Dumont Clark (Dist. 4) -- 704-336-3473
Neil Cooksey (Dist. 5) -- 704-365-4448
George Dunlap (Dist. 3) -- 704-336-4419
Vilma Leake (Dist. 2) -- 704-336-2088
Jim Pendergraph (At-large) -- 704-588-4585
Jennifer Roberts (At-large) -- 704-336-2574
SCRIPT: "My name is _______ and I live in [YOUR TOWN OR NEIGHBORHOOD]. I'm calling as a constituent of [YOUR COMMISSIONER'S NAME] to voice my support for Commissioner Harold Cogdell's resolution honoring diversity and tolerance. I hope that the county board of commissioners votes to pass this resolution at tonight's meeting."