Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James (R) is wasting no time in applying North Carolina’s newly passed Amendment One to the laws in his community. Noting that the measure bans any form of same-sex union recognition, James fired off an email to County Manager Harry Jones yesterday inquiring when they could begin stripping couples’ domestic partner benefits:
Since Amendment One has passed when will we get a memo or something that outlines what changes we need to make to our health plan to be in compliance? I recall when the Democrats on the Commission forced the issue and added these benefits for homosexuals that a number of legal experts said it was illegal then — including the City attorney. Now that Amendment one has passed it obviously is illegal to offer this benefit as there is now only one ‘domestic legal union’ recognized in the state.
James seems only to be concerned with the benefits for “homosexuals,” but Amendment One bans all domestic partnerships, so any benefits going to straight couples would have to be reevaluated as well. His email makes it clear, however, that his support for the measure was motivated entirely by his desire to discriminate against the gay community.
Jones responded that once the county’s legal and human resources staffs have completed their evaluation of the Amendment’s impact, they will brief James and the rest of the commissioners.