FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (BP)–The mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is under fire from homosexual activists for wanting to rid the city’s public restrooms of sex acts committed by homosexuals, often in the daytime at local parks.
The controversy began in early July when Mayor Jim Naugle proposed that the city spend $250,000 on robotic toilets for the beach to curb homosexual sex in public restrooms. Such toilets, which have robotic doors that open after a certain period, are similar to the ones used in San Francisco to combat the same problem.
But homosexual activists and other members of the local government lashed out at Naugle, accusing him of hatred toward homosexuals. They demanded an apology and he promised to give one at a press conference July 26, but it wasn’t what they expected.
“First I want to issue an apology,” Naugle said. “I was not aware of how serious the problem was of the sexual activity that’s taking place in bathrooms and public places and parks in Broward County and particularly the city of Fort Lauderdale. I’ve been educated on that, and I want to apologize to the parents and the children of our community for not being aware of the problem.”
Naugle reported that at least two of the city’s parks are listed on a homosexual website which indicates public locations where homosexual men can go for anonymous encounters.
“This to me is totally unacceptable,” he said. “I don’t think that in the name of being inclusive or tolerant any of us in the community should tolerate this.”
Peter LaBarbera, president and founder of Americans for Truth, said the problem is a national one that has been happening for years.
“I remember watching a CBS documentary back when Dianne Feinstein was running for mayor of San Francisco. She criticized the indecency in a local park,” LaBarbera said in an interview posted online with Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with Concerned Women for America. “There actually are web listings for these parks and public restrooms, even like restrooms at department stores for example, that are anonymous sex locations all across the country.”
LaBarbera said Naugle, who in his 16th year has held the office of mayor longer than anyone in Fort Lauderdale, is simply trying to stop illegal activity in public restrooms.
“Who’s coming under fire? The people who are standing up for the law. It’s interesting what the homosexual movement is willing to aggressively defend,” LaBarbera said, adding that if there were a trend of heterosexuals having such encounters in public restrooms he would consider it equally as wrong.
Naugle, at his press conference, cited a report that said Broward County leads the nation in new AIDS cases within the men-having-sex-with-men category.
“This is something we should all be concerned about,” he said.
The mayor asked “responsible members of the homosexual community” to work with him to get the city parks removed from homosexual websites that tout them as locations for anonymous sex. And he asked all other citizens to contact the police if they encounter such behavior.
“I’m the guy that gets the calls from the Little League dads and the soccer moms that complain about when they go to a public restroom they feel very uncomfortable and they have to go inside to make sure this kind of activity isn’t taking place,” Naugle said.
Multiple studies, though, back up Naugle’s claim about male homosexual promiscuity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47.5 percent of all new AIDS cases in the United States in 2005 involved homosexual men, despite the fact homosexual men make up only approximately 2 percent of the population. Additionally, a University of Chicago study released in 2003 found that 61 percent of homosexual men in Chicago’s Shoreland area had had more than 30 sexual partners.
Nevertheless, public officials were outraged at Naugle’s refusal to apologize to the homosexual community over the matter. County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish spoke at a well-attended rally at city hall following the mayor’s press conference.
“On behalf of the public officials in Broward County, we apologize for him not being man enough to do so,” Parrish said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper.
The rally drew swarms of homosexual activists, including the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Matt Foreman.
“This mayor must be treated as the bigot he is,” Foreman said, “and that is he is shunned everywhere he goes and not allowed at any gathering where decent people are.”
County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin referred to a group of about 30 people across the street from the rally who showed up to support the mayor. They were led by O’Neal Dozier of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, according to the Miami Herald.
“The Jesus I know would love everyone regardless,” the commissioner shouted as the rally crowd cheered. “I don’t know which Jesus those people are talking about. That’s not my Jesus.”
City Commissioner Carlton Moore yelled to the crowd, “We as a community must unite. We must unite against hatred.”
The local newspapers reported only a couple of remarks from citizens who supported the mayor’s stance.
“I don’t want to have my children going into a bathroom being exposed to two men having sex,” Gary Monzillo of Fort Lauderdale told the Herald. “God is clear that is an abomination.”
Naugle’s term expires in March 2009, and he has said he won’t run for another office.
“Let’s stick up for this guy who has the guts to say what he really thinks as opposed to so many people who are politically correct and won’t say anything,” LaBarbera said.