Hundreds Rally Against Anti-Gay Fort Lauderdale Mayor Naugle


Just hours after Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle issued an apology to the people of Fort Lauderdale for not cracking down sooner on what he says is a gay sex in public toilets, a massive crowd organized by UNITE Fort Lauderdale staged a rally outside City Hall.

Chip Arndt (once an Amazing Race winner with then-partner Reichen Lehmkuhl and now currently the PR Director for GLSEN South Florida and the President of Miami’s Freedom Democrats) sent us these exclusive shots of the rally.

Naugle2_2Naugle had called a news conference earlier in the day, saying that an “apology” was forthcoming, although it turned out that the apology wasn’t to the gay community but to the citizens of Fort Lauderdale, “for not alerting the public earlier to the serious problem of gay men having sex in public bathrooms.”

Naugle’s comments only served to solidify the determination of between 800 and 1,000 people who turned out to condemn the Mayor and his recent statements about gays and lesbians. Naugle has said that he uses the word “homosexual” rather than “gay” because gay people “are unhappy.”

A counter-protest of about 25 people in support of Naugle had been bused down from anti-gay Reverend O’Neal Dozier’s church in Pompano Beach, according to Waymon Hudson of UNITE Fort Lauderdale. UNITE noted, in an earlier press release, that “instead of answering to the concerns of the citizens of Fort Lauderdale , [Naugle] 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 Miami Herald reported on the rally: “Bathroom references — someone waved a toilet seat, while another flaunted a sign that said ”Flush the Turd” — stemmed from Naugle’s proposal earlier this month that the city spend $250,000 on a single-occupancy toilet for the beach to cut down on gay sex in public bathrooms. The resulting ill will toward Naugle blossomed into a general call for diversity and unity that raised at least $10,000 locally and resonated beyond Broward.”

Naugle3 Naugle6

Speakers at the event included Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (above left), and Ft. Lauderdale Vice Mayor Carlton Moore (above right).

Said Moore: ”We as a community must unite. We must unite against hatred.”

Foreman spoke out about Naugle earlier in the day as well, according to theMiami Herald: “So many people across the country have been to Fort Lauderdale for vacations and found it to be . . . gay-friendly. People come to a breaking point, and I think that’s been reached with Mayor Naugle.”


Also speaking were Executive Director of Equality Florida Nadine Smith (below left), whom you may remember was brutally arrested at hearings regarding fired transgender Largo City Commissioner Steve Stanton, and Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl.

Naugle4 Keechl

In fact, the rally attracted a broad range of South Florida community leaders. Others who spoke were Michael Albetta, President Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, Mitch Caeser, Chairman of Broward County Democratic Party, Lori Parrish, Broward County Property Appraiser, Diana Wasserman-Rubin, Broward County Commissioner, Mike D Payne, VP of Longshoremen’s Local #1526, Stacy Ritter, Broward County Commissioner, Durrell Watkins, Senior Pastor of the Sunshine Cathedral, Andrew L. Rosenkranz, Florida Regional Director fro the Anti-Defamation League, Scott Newton, Mayor of Wilton Manors, Rabbi Greg Kantor, Jewish Light, Suzanne Boisvenue, Oakland Park City Commissioner, Stephan Lampasso, Chairman of Human Rights Campaign Florida Committee, Dr. Hal McSwain, Pastor of First Congregational Church of Ft. Lauderdale, United Church of Christ, Alan Levy, Community Activist, and Dean Trantalis, Former Vice Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale.

Arndt notes that 75% of those who spoke are straight.

Joining them (below), was Howard Simon, Florida Executive Director of the ACLU.


While not a presence at the rally GLAAD issued a statement yesterday condemning the mayor’s statements. Said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano (a former mayor himself, of Tempe, Arizona): “A public leader should be unifying the community, not further segmenting it. Mayor Naugle’s comments and his lack of remorse for dividing his community are wrong. He needs to enter a dialogue with the constituents his words have hurt and start being the mayor he was elected to be – one who represents all residents of the community.”

Flush Naugle [official site]
Fort Lauderdale mayor’s refusal to apologize riles gays [miami herald]

You may have missed…
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Angers Gay Community Hours Before Rally [tr]
Flush Naugle: Gays in Fort Lauderdale Call on Mayor to Resign [tr]

A special thank you to Chip Arndt for the correspondence.

ADDENDUM: JoeMyGod has posted an excellent video of Matt Foreman speaking at the rally.


  1. Trevor says

    Great to see Chip continues to be involved in real activism and is not simply peddling his bare ass like his ex.

    And I’m surprised GLAAD didn’t add “We also urge Mayor Naugle to see, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.”

  2. such a waste of time... says

    gay anonymous sex in public bathrooms is disgusting and further increases risk of stds and hiv transmission – good the mayor spoke out about it

  3. John says

    Seems the only real problem FLA has with public restroom sex is due to their right-wing ‘family values’ reps soliciting it from undercover cops – why is that not being mentioned in every report on this issue?

  4. Jonathon says

    The amount of “gay anonymous sex in public bathrooms” is overexaggerated. Yes, there was a time and there have been places where such events took place regularly. But that was then and this is now. Sure, there are probably some gay guys who like it and keep doing it, but for the most part it is the folks like the right-wing closet cases who solicit undercover cops and from black guys “on the down low”. People who are ashamed of their sexuality may find an outlet in such places, but to be sure the vast majority of gay men agree that it is pretty damn disgusting.

    The “tea rooms” (i.e., public toilets where men had sex with other men) were the result of the repressive, oppresive and homophobic society that made it impossible for a gay person to live their lives honestly and openly. Give gay people their rights and leave us alone to live our lives and the need for such places dissapates. Gay people who are allowed to marry their same-sex partner are not very likely to be cruising public toilets.

    Yes, promiscuous sex does indeed increase the risk of STDs and HIV transmission. But not just for gay men. Given the amount of illicit, extramarital sex that breeders are doing we should be much more concerned with what they’re spreading around (and the unwanted children they’re creating) than with a very small number of people, gay-identified or not, who choose to look for sex in a toilet.

    Anyone who walks into a public toilet and finds it overrun with people having sex should go and find the nearest police officer. It’s that simple. There’s no need for expensive, single-occupant toilets. There’s no need to smear each and ever gay person because of the actions of a few.

    Naugle should spend some time with some real gay people and find out what our lives are like. Could the “unhappiness” that he perceives in the gay community be the result of prejudice and persecution by the likes of Naugle? I bet that never crossed his mind.

  5. Frank L says

    The likelihood of Jim Naugle spending time with real gay people is close to nil. He’s an unrepentant fundamentalist bigot and an embarrassment to the city of Fort Lauderdale who should be run out of office on a rail.

  6. db says

    The mayor is not speaking out in an effort to prevent STDs or protect anyone–he’s speaking out to villify gay men, raise money and shore up his conservative base. He certainly shouldn’t be honored for this–especially by gay men. It’s all bull on his part–as has been stated before, even the police say there’s not a problem in the public restrooms of Ft. Lauderdale. I wouldn’t be surprised if the company or contractor supplying these toilets is some crony of the mayor’s who will make a bundle off this.

  7. Scott says

    While sex in public toilets should be stamped out, I must admit I’m far more offended by the woman in the white tank top with the American flag in the first photo. I’ll gladly take George Michael getting his jollies in tradeoff with her buying some clothes that actually fit.

  8. Rafael says

    Mr. Naugle needs to resign, he does not represent his constituents or for that matter serve us well. We need a Mayor who will attend to the needs of the city of Fort Lauderdale, not a bigot whose main object is to spread a divisive hateful message.

    Every single constituent of Fort Lauderdale should be equally disgusted at the Mayor’s use of the city’s resources. We have far more important issues he should devote his public time to. On my end, the mayor’s political career is over. Please note that this is not just a local issue. We need not put up with this kind of behavior from any of our politicians.

  9. PJ says

    Oh, and straight people never do it in public bathrooms? Please! There’s even an ad on TV right now in which a woman switches the sign outside the men’s room so she can trap a man inside and, presumbably, screw him in there.

    Someone ought to go into the police reports of Fort Liquordale and show all the incidents of heterosexual couples having sex in bathrooms. Oh, wait–cops let lovebirds like that off with warnings.

  10. says

    Isn’t promiscuous man-to-man sex in public places like washrooms not proportionate or equivalent to the degree of homophobia in a particular city or town that forces homos and bis alike to have anonymous sex in public?

  11. says

    Isn’t promiscuous man-to-man sex in public places like washrooms not proportionate or equivalent to the degree of homophobia in a particular city or town that forces homos and bis alike to have anonymous sex in public?

  12. Mario says

    Has anyone heard about a new GSN show called “Without Prejudice?” It’s a new show where a group of people judge others based on first impressions. Some really interesting issues are discussed like immigration, gay marriage and adoption, job outsourcing abroad, a woman’s right to abortion, interracial relationships, mothers with career vs. stay at home, women in politics, right to spank children, prostitution, war and terrorism, sex and violence in the media, the death penalty, legalization of marijuana, religion and right to bear arms, etc. Should be juicy!! Tune in Tuesdays at @ 9PM.

  13. says

    The rally was fascinating on a number of levels.

    I wondered who all these gay men were. I’d never seen 98% of them before. They were certainly not the ones who can be regularly seen at clubs/bars/gym/beach etc.

    The speakers were amazing. They delivered heartfelt apologies for the stupidity of the mayor. Their words seemed sincere. Refreshing, in a world of pre-spun positioning.

    The handsome young Waymon Hudson is worth watching. His future as an activist is something we can bank on. (I hope he gets so busy he will no longer have time to shape his eyebrows. It’s an adjustment he does not need.)

  14. Sal says

    NO ONE should be having sex in a PUBLIC bathroom the key word there is PUBLIC .
    Boys and girls use those bathrooms not just adults.
    I support gay marriages and subscribe to live and let live. The phoney “Christian” conservatives dont speak for me but I also subscribe to putting those that have sex in a PUBLIC bathroom behind bars be it gay or hetero .
    Not to mention what a nasty , germ filled place to have sex .

  15. Sal says

    Posted by: anon ( | Jul 25, 2007 3:06:04 PM
    1-It’s all bull on his part–as has been stated before, even the police say there’s not a problem in the public restrooms of Ft. Lauderdale.
    2- I wouldn’t be surprised if the company or contractor supplying these toilets is some crony of the mayor’s who will make a bundle off this

    You have made a GREAT point 2 points which I didnt see but do now.Your certainly correct about #1 and #2 is typical of 95% of Floridas politicians in BOTH parties


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