Wednesday, December 16, 2009
According to a WBTV analysis of the session's audio, Commissioner Bill James asked Commissioner Vilma Leake, "Your son was a homo, really?" This came after an emotional statement by Leake about her son's death from AIDS.
According to WBTV, the conversation went this way. James's comment was barely audible:
Leake: "I did not know that in 2010 that I would be sitting here to defend … his lifestyle."
James leaned over, "Your son was a homo, really?"
Leake: "Don't make me hurt you. Don't do that to me. Don't talk to me about my son."
You can watch the entire county commission meeting online, in streaming video.
To view the Leake statement, advance the stream to 3 hours, 59 minutes.
Here is WBTV's report on the controversy.
James went on WBT radio's Keith Larson show this morning to defend his statement.
At first, James told Larson that he was in the process of saying "homosexual," but was cut off by Leak. He changed his story after Larson played a clip of the exchange that made clear that wasn't the case.
"Look, I don't care if I said 'homo.' I don't think it changes the reality of it. Whether I said, 'is he a homo really or is he homosexual, really?' - I'm OK with either one of those…
"When she used the reason for her vote, the fact that her son had engaged in lifestyle and had died of HIV/AIDS as the reason for her vote, I was curious about what lifestyle she was talking about because usually you don't use the term 'lifestyle' to refer to a blood transfusion."
-- David Enna
Posted by Charlotte Observer at 3:30 PM