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Florida mayor's
snarky remarks draw fire...and toilet paper

Florida mayor's
snarky remarks draw fire...and toilet paper

A controversial Florida mayor has incited outrage among the local gay populace by shifting his attention to...the toilet. In response to statements Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle made last week about gay sex in public restrooms, gay advocacy groups have launched the "Flush Naugle's Bigotry" campaign, sending Naugle toilet paper to mock his views.

Naugle made the comments when discussing a $250,000 robotic bathroom proposed for installation on the city's beach.The contraption permits occupants to stay inside for only a short time before the door automatically opens.

Naugle expressed his support for the device in the July 4 issue of the South FloridaSun-Sentinel, which quoted him as saying the toilet could prevent "homosexual activity" in public bathrooms.

"Sometimes [public restrooms] are used for sexual activity--most of it is men meeting men because it's same-sex people in the bathrooms," Naugle told The MiamiHerald.

Also, Naugle said in an interview, "I don't use the word 'gay.' I use the word 'homosexual.'Most of them aren't gay.They're unhappy."

Equality Florida, a gay rights organization, helped come up with "Flush Naugle's Bigotry." Equality Florida spokesman Brian Winfield told the Herald, "We are encouraging people to mail either a roll or several sheets of toilet paper to the mayor at City Hall to help him to wipe his dirty mind clean."

So far only one actual toilet paper roll has made it to the mayor's office, with a note written on its first sheet stating, "His Honor--Jim Naugel [sic]. From a very happy homosexual professional & voter. Bye! Steve."

However, the group's e-mail campaign has left nearly 300 electronic rolls in his in-box.

"You should be ashamed of yourself," wrote Robert Rosenberg of Fort Lauderdale, urging the mayor to "clean up your mind and your act," signing the e-mail, "Sincerely happy and gay."

"This isn't about the bathrooms, this is about his idiotic comments," Michael Albetta of Fort Lauderdale, president of the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Caucus, told the Sun-Sentinel. "How does he know who's happy or not? What makes him such an expert?"

With only one arrest made last year for such activity in the city's south beach bathroom, local police officials say that sex in restrooms is no longer a hot crime.

"There's no evidence, no reports, or arrests made for any men having sex in any restrooms," Sgt. Frank Sousa told the Sun-Sentinel.

"His comments that there is a problem with gay activity going on in public bathrooms is simply not supported by any law enforcement agency," Winfield told the Herald. "It's just something in his mind.... His comments are ridiculous, so to some degree an appropriate response is a little bit of ridicule." (The Advocate)

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