Pulling a fast one on local activists and media, today Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle did not apologize for his anti-gay comments at his press conference, as had been expected, but instead launched an even more venomous attack on gays (video). Naugle said he only apologized for having “underestimated” the problem of gay public sex in the beachside resort town. Naugle then gave the press a media kit containing print-outs of the site CruisingForSex.com, which gives tips on places to meet in Fort Lauderdale for public sex. Naugle cited the case of Rep. Bob Allen, who was recently arrested for attempting to have sex in an park and shrugged off shouted responses that Allen is purportedly a straight married man.
Flanked by the virulently anti-gay Rev. O’Neal Dozier, Naugle again repeated his warning that gay men are running amuck in Fort Lauderdale and called on city residents to call police whenever they suspect gay men are having sex in public places. Fort Lauderdale police report only a single arrest for public sex at the gay beach in the last three years. Naugle went on to call for the Broward County Tourist Commission to “rethink” their long-running gay tourism campaign, claiming that Broward County has the highest rate of new HIV infections in the country. The press conference ended to the shouts of “Shame!”, “Resign!”, and “You are an embarrassment to our city!”
Naugle’s pal, Rev. Dozier, is famed for having told a local paper in 2003 that being gay is “something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit” and “AIDS is God’s punishment.” Even Dubya was forced to remove Dozier from his advisory council after those remarks. Dozier’s church is in nearby Pompano Beach, prompting UNITE Fort Lauderdale’s Waymon Hudson to speculate that no local church was willing to support Naugle.
Naugle is attempting to spin his entire anti-gay position (and he refuses to use the word “gay”) as merely his attempt to quell public sex, but makes no mention of any distaste for heterosexual public sex. I’d like to call on the residents of Fort Lauderdale to CALL THE POLICE every time they see straight couples hooking up in public – in nightclub parking lots, on the beach, wherever.
NEW JMG FEATURE: Asshat Of The Year. Welcome, Mayor Naugle, as our first nominee.