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Commissioner Unapologetic for Homo Remark


A commissioner in Mecklenburg County, N.C., has issued a decidedly unapologetic response to the uproar over his comment that a colleague's son was a "homo" during a debate over domestic-partner benefits Monday.

On Monday nigh, commissioner Vilma Leake, a Democrat (pictured, left) spoke in favor of providing benefits for the same-sex domestic partners of county employees. The commission passed the proposal by a vote of 6-3.

Following Leake's speech, in which she invoked the death of her gay son from AIDS complications, a fellow commissioner, Bill James (pictured, right), could be heard on recorded audio saying to her, "Your son was a homo?"

Leake replied, "Don't make me hurt you. Don't do that to me. Don't talk to me about my son."

Later, James e-mailed a statement to the Fox News affiliate in Charlotte in which he called Leake a "hypocrite" because of her involvement with the AME Zion Church, which opposes gay rights.

"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," said James, according to Fox News.

"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."

Commission chairwoman Jennifer Roberts has demanded that James apologize for his comments.

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