Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James isn't backing down from calling gay people “sexual predators.”

The North Carolina lawmaker says he's received death threats after media outlets reported his comments.

When County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts, a Democrat, requested to send a letter thanking members of North Carolina's Congressional delegation for supporting repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly, James objected in a email exchange.

“Homosexuals are sexual predators,” James, a Republican, wrote. “Allowing homosexuals to serve in the US military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining U.S. military readiness and effectiveness not the least of which is the current Democrat plan to allow homosexuals (male and female) to share showers with those they are attracted to.”

“I think there are a lot of things that people of all political stripes tolerate from their politicians. But endorsing immorality and allowing military recruits to be preyed on by homosexuals is not one that I will tolerate,” he added.

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was among the eight Republicans whose votes helped end the ban. Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat, also voted for repeal.

“I suspect Richard Burr will pay a high electoral price for his actions but whether it boots him from office next time is unknown,” James wrote. “I know I won't be supporting him even if he does have an R after his name.”

While a petition calling on the board to censure James for his anti-gay remarks has attracted more than 1,200 signatures, the Republican is not backing down.

“People are entitled to their opinion and that includes me,” James told the Charlotte Observer on Thursday. “I don't expect people to [always] agree with me. It's a political discussion and I wouldn't have raised it on my own, but Jennifer [Roberts] decided to wade in on it.”

James also responded to the controversy in the comments section of a theCLog blog post titled What the hell is wrong with Bill James?

“I just say what everyone else thinks and believes. Homosexuality is the only sin/vice with a political action committee” James wrote.