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Ft. Lauderdale Tourism to Mayor: It has to Stop

Timothy Kincaid

August 23rd, 2007

Mayor Jim Naugle has been on a campaign to demonize gay folk and make them unwelcome in his city.  His interview with Bill O’Reilly made that clear to anyone who still harbored doubts:

O’REILLY: All right. Now there is a large gay community in Fort Lauderdale and a large gay tourism industry there, as well. And the community — not all of them, but some of them have said that you’re just anti-gay, that you’re homophobic, that you don’t like them, you want them out. And your reply?

NAUGLE: Well, you know, the other problem that we have in our city is that we’re — we lead the nation with HIV who are in the classification of men having sex with men. And that’s something that I want to address, I want to stop, this activity that we have in public places.

Yes, his response to “are you homophobic” really was to start talking about HIV. Translation: “yep, I sure am homophobic.”

But gay people – and decent minded residents – are not without an ally. Nicki Grossman, who wrote to us to welcome us to the city, took the mayor to task:

“The damage has been done to the destination,” said Nikki Grossman with Broward County’s Visitor and Convention Bureau, “we need to get back to work fixing it. The rhetoric needs to stop and the anger, the mischaracterizations and the hurtful mean-spirited rhetoric has to stop.”

And Nicki wasn’t alone:

“I’m asking you to stop,” Oina Lee with Travel Host magazine told Naugle, “I’m really asking you to stop.”

Is he going to stop attacking the gay community, whipping up a storm about a bogus epidemic of public sex, or promoting the lies of homophobes? Not according to Naugle.

Naugle said he will not back off the comments and will be outspoken as long as public health is an issue in Fort Lauderdale.

So while I think the tourist board wants me in Ft. Lauderdale, and I appreciate their words of welcome, I hope the citizens of that fair city say, “enough is enough”, and find a way to rid themselves of this self-promoting windbag and his circus of bigotry.

Comments

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Boo
August 23rd, 2007 | LINK

So Naugle doesn’t want gay people there, but everyone else does. The obvious answer is a campaign to make Fort Lauderdale the gay tourism capital of the world.

Robguy
August 23rd, 2007 | LINK

“as long as public health is an issue in Fort Lauderdale.”

Hah, isn’t public health ALWAYS going to be an issue EVERYWHERE? If there were any evidence that people were having public sex (het or homo) then I might understand. This guy is a creep.

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