Fort Lauderdale has elected openly gay city commissioner Dean Trantalis as its next mayor. Trantalis defeated Bruce Roberts, a former police chief and the current vice mayor, with 64 percent of the vote.
A decade ago, then-Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle made headlines after he said the city needed to buy single-occupancy public toilets on the beach to “reduce homosexual sex in bathrooms.” He also opposed a plan to put a collection of gay and lesbian literature in a public library. It was ultimately approved.
Naugle’s comments drew the ire of gay residents, including Trantalis, who became the city’s first openly gay elected official in 2003. Trantalis decided not to seek re-election in 2006, but he was an outspoken opponent of Naugle’s anti-gay message.