A recent Mountain Xpress cartoon stated that I voted against protection of LGBT rights [Molton, Sept. 5]. On Aug. 7, I voted for an amendment to Buncombe County's personnel policy supporting the rights of LGBT employees.
After the majority of the Board of Commissioners voted against this amendment, the unamended policy that passed required a second reading. Once amendments are defeated, commission rules prohibit another vote on failed amendments without a member of the majority reversing their vote.
At the second reading of the policy on Aug. 21, a motion to suspend the rules was made based on the possibility that one of the majority might change their vote. I knew firsthand that no one intended to reverse their vote. The motion died for lack of a second, confirming my understanding.
I continue to support and will work toward non-discrimination for all county staff, including LGBT employees.
— David Gantt
Chair, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners
Cartoonist Randy Molton responds: I agree that the words at the bottom of my cartoon mischaracterized David Gantt’s actions. To be accurate, he failed to support another vote on LGBT protection at the commissioners’ Aug. 21 meeting. It’s unfortunate that the other three commissioners stood firm against the amendment. But realizing that no member of the majority would change his or her vote, what was Gantt’s point when he effectively joined them by refusing to second the motion to amend? If the amendment was going to be defeated anyway, why not stick with your original vote to make a point that you weren't going to be swayed by the majority? That said, I do applaud Gantt's early decision to join Holly Jones in supporting the rights of LGBT employees.