Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Under Fire for Trying to End 'Cruising' in Public Restrooms

From "Fort Lauderdale mayor criticized following 'apology" by Brittany Wallman, posted 7/25/07 at

They said Broward County will never be the same. They said history was made.

Hundreds of people descended on City Hall on Tuesday to denounce Mayor Jim Naugle for his record of inflammatory comments, most recently about gays. A line of Broward leaders in government, civil rights, gay rights and religion took the stage, saying it was important to let the world know that Naugle doesn't speak for the entire county, or even the city.

"Mayor Naugle speaks only for one very small person: himself," said County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, one of three county commissioners who spoke.

Momentum has grown quickly against the 16-year mayor since he was quoted in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on July 4 about a $250,000 self-cleaning toilet the city planned — and later nixed — for the beach. The mayor said one thing he liked about the robotic commode was its security features — the free-standing toilet would deter "homosexual activity," he said.

Naugle said public restrooms are plagued by gay sex in Fort Lauderdale, even though police said it's not a problem. He also said he doesn't use the term "gay" because homosexuals are "unhappy."

Naugle didn't attend Tuesday's rally, but he staged his own news conference earlier in the day. After sending an invitation to the media to come hear a brief speech "including an apology," he announced on City Hall's steps that Broward leads the nation in new AIDS cases resulting from men having sex with men, and said the county should "examine" whether to continue inviting gay tourists to "come on down."

He also apologized.

"I want to apologize to the children and parents of our community for not being aware of the problem," he said, explaining that he found Web sites advising gays to "cruise" for sex in two city park restrooms.

"I apologize for not bringing this forward earlier," he said. "Maybe some lives could have been saved."

County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, a lifetime Fort Lauderdale resident like Naugle, said he was "spewing hate" and giving the wrong impression that the county doesn't welcome gays.

This is the same mayor who voted against approval for a new homosexual library that will contain hard core porn.

I don’t think it’s coincidental that Ft. Lauderdale is also the home of Coral Ridge Church...

A strong church can have a fantastic influence on a community. People are less afraid to challenge nonsense when they have support. If the Church weren’t so weak I think we’d have 1000 more like him.

Please pray for him...

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