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Fort Lauderdale Mayor Angers Gay Community Hours Before Rally

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle held a press conference today, a few hours before UNITE Fort Lauderdale, the activist group behind the "Flush Naugle" campaign, were scheduled to hold a 4pm rally outside City Hall. (video)

NaugleThe rally is in response to comments Naugle made surrounding the proposed installation of a $250,000 self-cleaning, robotic public toilet in the city. Naugle, who claims he uses the word "homosexual" rather than "gay" because gay people "are unhappy," has said that an added plus to having the toilets is that they would keep gay people from using the facilities for public sex.

The purpose of today's press conference, according to CBS4, was because Naugle wished to apologize "for not alerting the public earlier to the serious problem of gay men having sex in public bathrooms."

Said Naugle: "I'm the guy that gets the call from the Little League dads and the Soccer Moms that complain about that when they go to a public restroom they feel uncomfortable, they have to go inside to make sure this kind of activity isn't taking place. And I've received many emails from responsible members of the homosexual community that agree with me, that think this is a silly argument to have, and I'm asking the homosexual community to join with me, to cease this activity for the benefit of the children and the parents of the community."

HudsonUNITE Fort Lauderdale released the following statement in response:

"Mayor Naugle once again showed his true colors at a press conference at City Hall. Flanked by the divisive Rev. O’neal Dozier, Naugle once again used stereotypes and hate instead of facts in his 'apology for not acting sooner on the problem of homosexual sex in public restrooms.' When asked why his assertions run counter to what the police department has repeatedly said, he simply pointed to an incident in South Beach and vague “'calls of complaints from concerned citizens' instead of answering questions with facts...When our city needs real action and leadership for the issues facing it, the mayor has chosen to latch on to an issue that he created in his own mind. Instead of answering to the concerns of the citizens of Fort Lauderdale , he has aligned himself with one of the most divisive religious leaders in Florida , Rev. Dozier. In fact, the mayor was apparently unable to find a church in Fort Lauderdale to support his bigoted statements, so he had to reach out to the Pompano minister. Dozier has made several comments over the last couple of years, including calling Islam a 'cult' and 'dangerous religion', and said that being gay is 'something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit' and that HIV-AIDS was God’s punishment. In fact, Gov. Bush and Gov. Crist have removed him off of advisory boards for his divisive and disparaging comments."

The group has called on Naugle to resign.

Mayor's 'Apology' Angers City's Gay Community [cbs4]

Flush Naugle: Gays in Fort Lauderdale Call on Mayor to Resign [tr]

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  1. Oh no he di'n't!!!

    Posted by: becks07 | Jul 24, 2007 8:58:50 PM

  2. Like I've said, I live in New Jersey and I'm ashamed of Jim Naugle.

    Guy in the second picture is cute. Who is he?

    Posted by: DCN | Jul 24, 2007 9:02:15 PM

  3. It's Fort Lauderdale for God's sake, who voted him in?

    Posted by: Pugzz | Jul 24, 2007 9:40:52 PM

  4. DCN -- that's famed explorer Henry Hudson.

    Posted by: Becks07 | Jul 24, 2007 9:51:15 PM

  5. I'm gay and I'm repulsed by the behavior in so many public parks and restrooms. It's embarrasing. Families shouldn't have to look first or feel uncomfortable. There's a park near my house where it's well-known that guys "cruise" out in the open. Why the excuses for this behavior?

    Posted by: Joe | Jul 24, 2007 10:14:32 PM

  6. There isn't an excuse for cruising public tea rooms. People do it. It's a fact. But, what's often ignored, is that many of those men who are cruising the toilets are so called "straight" men who go home to the wife and kids after they get their rocks off. Rep. Bob Allen from Florida is a prime example.

    But, what Naugle is doing is trying to label an entire community by the acts of a few. That's what is repulsive about him. And that's what needs to be protested. He's a bigot and a homophobe, and the Mayor of one of the gayest cities in the U.S., where millions and millions of gay dollars are spent every year.

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 24, 2007 10:42:25 PM

  7. this homophobe mayor was last seen sucking some pretty hefty dick in the public restrooms.

    who the hell else would be so concerned with gay sex in public places than someone that has engaged in such acts.

    shit the majority of people gay or straight do not engage in such activities.

    glad to see this is such an important issue for the closet case mayor.

    Posted by: poodle | Jul 24, 2007 11:01:07 PM

  8. I attended the protest today as a taxpayer and someone who has never even gone to the "gay beach", let alone had sex in the bathroom. There were several hundred people there, and one of the speakers was Scott Newton, (straight, may I add) Mayor of Wilton Manors, who presented a great speech about bringing our community together, regardless of our differences of opinion. He truly represents a Mayor that embraces and wishes to understand everybody living under his jurisdiction and create a community that works together no matter what. Naugle has created a mess that will not be ignored, and the sad part is he thinks his beliefs are justified and people will support him. Intolerance and ignorance about our community should have ended with Anita Bryant.

    Posted by: djtonyb | Jul 24, 2007 11:01:52 PM

  9. Wasn't Ted Haggard pretty actively homophobic... until... what? His gay lover and meth supplier went public.

    I'll bet Naugle has some cute little illegal Cuban 'immigrant' playing hide-the-chorizo...

    Posted by: Tra-la-la | Jul 24, 2007 11:38:25 PM

  10. Less about this Naugle tool and more about the cute guy in the 2nd picture, please.

    Posted by: Jordan | Jul 25, 2007 12:26:58 AM

  11. Miss Naugle is a bit of a johnny come lately on the "throw the faggots under the bus" school of politics. It has worked nicely for the GOP for the last six years but polls are showing that most average Americans find this crap ridiculous and bold faced scapegoating now. Karl Rove has influenced a generation of uppity white trash politicos to play the fag card to garner voters. Rally in the polyester pastors to quote some mistranslated Leviticus and voila, Bob and Betty Trailer Trash voter will follow. But the tide seems to be slowly turning. It is amazing to me that Ft Laud could elect this little closet creep (please go str8, you're not cute).

    Posted by: Bostonian Queer in Dallas | Jul 25, 2007 5:38:27 AM

  12. this "whackjob" has been elected 6 times... fortunately this is his final term in office.
    and he's made a real estate fortune, so make sure he offers alot more than the regional standard of $20.

    Posted by: A.J. | Jul 25, 2007 9:07:55 AM

  13. I can't wait for him to get caught blowing some guy, because you know he will! The loudest homophobes are always the biggest closet cases.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 25, 2007 9:30:11 AM

  14. I think it's a bit disingenuous of UNITE to imply that this whole problem doesn't really exist. It's a real problem, mostly because it gives PR ammo to those who want to color us all with the same brush. The better response would have been "yes, there's a few nutjobs who do this, and we wish the mayor would ask us for help rather than suggest that all gay people are so inconsiderate."

    Posted by: Zlexar | Jul 25, 2007 9:52:07 AM

  15. The city police have said that there is no problem in our city parks or bathrooms. The mayor is manufacturing a problem so he can slam gay people like he has done over the years. Nobody but the most anti-gay and divisive minister in Florida (even Gov. Bush removed him from a committee because of his hateful comments about other religions) will support him because they see the venom and hatred he has for the gay community. He has no credibility on this issue because everyone here sees that he is doing this because of his hate for the gay community.

    Our issue with the mayor is that he is painting the entire community negatively solely based on a few individuals. I also do not see him going after hetersexual couples who have sex in the ocean or on the beach or in parking lots. The support for his "problem" comes entirely from a 1999 article. We called it like we saw it: he manufactured a controversy about nothing when there are so many other problems that need his focus (homeless beatings near city hall, high taxes and insurance, increase in crime, etc.)

    Posted by: Anthony of Fight OUT Loud | Jul 25, 2007 11:02:24 AM

  16. And one more thing....the guy in the second picture is my partner and hubby, Waymon of Fight OUT Loud, so back off.... :-) (I do agree that he is really cute though!)

    Posted by: Anthony Fight OUT Loud | Jul 25, 2007 11:14:59 AM

  17. It sounds like the solution, then, would be to simply publish in print the statement that the city police have made contradicting the mayor. If the two sides are simply declaring facts rather than proving them, skeptics on both sides of the issue will remain unconvinced.

    As someone who got tons of blowjobs in rest rooms as a teenager (no internet back then), my instinct is this: there IS gay sex in public restrooms, and the Mayor IS using the issue as red herring to distract from more significant issues. Both sides are likely being a little manipulative and dishonest.

    Posted by: Zlexar | Jul 25, 2007 12:14:36 PM

  18. The police's statement was published in every newspaper in the city and in Miami. That did not stop him from telling lies. He said at the press conference that the police pretty much did not know what they were talking about.

    Posted by: Anthony Fight OUT Loud | Jul 25, 2007 12:18:27 PM

  19. Then you've already won. Once a mayor starts publicly ridiculing his own police force, he undercuts himself politically in a big way. Just keep the contradiction in the public eye for as long as possible and he'll keep taking hits.

    Posted by: Zlexar | Jul 25, 2007 12:30:33 PM

  20. Zlexar, what planet are you from? Where do you think this gay friendly media that will allow people to put that message out and keep it in the public eye exists? What kind of Pollyanna world do you live in?

    Posted by: db | Jul 25, 2007 1:33:30 PM

  21. I agree with Islam being a dangerous religion, but only to the extent that all religion is dangerous (and stupid!).

    Posted by: JLS | Jul 25, 2007 2:01:13 PM

  22. DB, the media does not love gay people. It loves dirt. If UNITE can whip up a bit of a scandal with the Mayor and his own police department trading insults, it'll sell.

    It looks like they've already taken interest in the issue. As Anthony already pointed out:

    "The police's statement was published in every newspaper in the city and in Miami."

    Keep the story interesting, it'll sell. Drag out tired platitudes about the media working for the man and conspiring to keep us down, and eyes will glaze over. Unimaginative.

    Posted by: Zlexar | Jul 26, 2007 10:15:38 AM

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