It's been months since homophobic Mayor Jim Naugle of Fort Lauderdale, Florida first launched his campaign to clean up the public bathrooms and parks of what he considered to be rampant homosexual sex. With only 8 arrests in two years, the mayor rang the alarm on a few isolated incidents and declared an epidemic. But it wasn't his desire to "clean up" the city that had everyone up in arms it was his political terrorism on the gay community and people living with HIV/AIDS that divided the community, turned away LGBT travelers, and eventually caused Naugle to be removed from the local tourism board.
Not since the early days of AIDS have I seen an individual and his supporters spew so much anti-gay rhetoric and hate. The thing that bothered me the most about this case is the support Naugle received from black ministers and others in the black community. This is a mayor that has ignored the issues affecting black people in Fort Lauderdale, yet black ministers are rushing to jump on the anti-gay Naugle bandwagon, this is disgusting ! Did we overcome and somebody forgot to tell me?
Naugle claims by getting rid of the homosexuals in Fort Lauderdale the city will see a decrease in new HIV/AIDS infections. It seems if he were so interested in fighting AIDS he would have a record a mile long of his work to eradicate the virus, but he doesn't. This is just another example of how one person's personal prejudice and bigotry is attempting to halt the progress of his city and subject a specific group to unfair discrimination. I'm glad there's people in Fort Lauderdale who stand on the side of equality for all of it's citizens.
Click here for videos on this controversy. I highly recommend the following:
NAACP community leaders respond
Group of clergymen flock to Naugle's side
Mayor Naugle's press conference turns heated