Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle
Public Advocate Selects Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle as Family Advocate of the Month
Despite howls of protest from the Broward County Commission, the Broward Tourism Board, and gay activists, Mayor Jim Naugle is sticking to his guns, exposing public homosexual sex as a moral and a health hazard.
In early July, Mayor Jim Naugle of the city of Fort Lauderdale in Florida's Broward County gained national attention when he blew the whistle on anonymous homosexual activity reported at the men's rooms at the city's beach. The six-term, conservative Democrat gave two reasons for speaking out: (1) to protect parents and children using the beach bathrooms from coming across a sex act in progress; (2) to address a health crisis in Broward County, which leads the nation in AIDS cases among homosexual men.
"I feel it is necessary for an elected official to tell it like it is," he reportedly commented. "I don't subscribe to political correctness."
Not everyone in the Fort Lauderdale establishment, however, applauded the Mayor's concern, or approved of his proposal for a mechanical fix -- installing a robotic john that automatically re-opens its doors after a set time.
With an estimated one in ten tourist dollars coming from homosexuals, this city has invested heavily in its image as a gay-friendly vacation destination.
Furious homosexual activists launched a "Flush Naugle" email campaign, accusing him of stabbing the city in the wallet, harping on the homosexual issue for political advantage, and endangering the public by encouraging anti-gay "hate crimes." On August 3, HealthyPublicPlaces.com, a coalition of local and national religious groups, joined with the Mayor, reiterating his public health concerns.
"I have only spoken the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts but it needs to be said."
Mayor Naugle, who in past years supported the right of the Boy Scouts to ban gay adult youth leaders and struggled to keep a donated gay book collection out of the public library, keeps on fighting. On July 24 rumors flew that he was about to publicly recant. Naugle apologized alright, but not as expected:
"I want to apologize to the children and parents of our community for not being aware of the problem."
On August 28, when the Broward County commissioners unanimously voted to exclude Mayor Naugle from the tourist board, he told the press:
"I'm the mayor that's not going to back down. One of the things that my dad taught me is that it isn't always about the money. It's about doing what's right."