By Hilary White
FORT LAUDERDALE, August 23, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At a news conference at City Hall this week, Jim Naugle, the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has called on homosexual men to end their public sexual encounters in order to curb the local HIV/AIDS rate. "We want to put a stop to that activity," he said.
Since his first public comments in July, Naugle has been attacked on all sides for being nearly the only US public figure to oppose on moral grounds the encroachment of homosexual activity in his town.
Now Naugle is in the news again for his determination to clean up Fort Lauderdale’s beaches and tourist spots, that he says are a health threat. The tourist destinations, he says, are being used as "cruising" scenes for homosexual men looking for the anonymous sexual encounters that characterize the "gay" subculture. This activity, he says, is one of the major factors in the spread of the HIV virus in the area.
"Our goal isn’t to arrest people," the Mayor said. "Our goal is to stop the activity…and we’re going to save some lives in the process." Naugle said that eight men have been arrested in two years for having sex in restrooms at public parks.
"The health department, based on past statistics, estimates that around five hundred people in Broward County are going to contract HIV from men having sex with men." The mayor said that the local health department estimates that 74% of HIV cases are the result of male homosexual activity.
Naugle first ran afoul of the US homosexual activist community when he supported the decision of the Boy Scouts to ban homosexual troop leaders. He has also objected to the presence of a large collection of homosexual pornography in the local public library.
His forthright campaign to clean up Fort Lauderdale has earned him the vilification of the mainstream press as well as the homosexual lobby. James A. Smith Sr., Executive Editor of the Florida Baptist Witness writes that a "Flush Naugle" campaign has been launched seeking his removal from office, although his current term ends in 2009 and he is ineligible for re-election.
Naugle, in his sixth term as the longest serving mayor in Fort Lauderdale history, clarified previous comments that he said were misrepresented in the Sun Sentinel. He said that he did not say that homosexual tourism should be discouraged, but that "the county has a dilemma, that the health department is fighting the disease and the Broward County Convention Center is inviting more people here, including promoting the bathhouses…"
He told press that he would ask members of the Tourist Development Council to stop promoting bathhouses, where homosexual men meet for sex. Tourist information provided by Broward County invites tourists to visit bathhouses. Fort Lauderdale is known as the "Venice of America" and is one of North America’s most important tourist destinations.
But at the meeting today, Naugle found himself at odds with local tourism business leaders who are using the homosexual subculture to promote "gay" tourism locally.
NBC6 News reports that Fort Lauderdale Tourism Board members said the mayor’s opposition to public sex in tourist spots and bathhouses is hurting business.
"The county is receiving quite a few e-mails and inquiries of concern about what’s happening," said Richard Gray, owner of Palm Resorts and Spa. "The gay and lesbian tourism market is a massive market here. It’s about a $1 billion industry. It’s a very important niche market for Fort Lauderdale."
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Mayor Committed to Preventing Public Homosexual Acts In Children’s Park
Gay Sex in Public a Major Health Risk ~ Naugle Calls on Homosexuals to Stem the Spread of HIV
By Hilary White
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