Fla., city commissioners Tuesday approved an LGBT
archive's move into a city-owned library over the objections
of gay-challenged mayor Jim Naugle, who fretted that
the move might expose patrons to pornography.
voted 3–2 to give the nonprofit Stonewall Library and
Archive a new, larger home in a building the city leases to
Broward County. Stonewall now occupies space in the
Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Center, whose
management is selling its building and constructing
bigger digs nearby.
taking flak for recent comments that gays are
"unhappy" and allegedly use city restrooms for "illegal
sex," shared his shock that the Stonewall archive contains
gay erotica. Before Tuesday's meeting he showed
reporters adult magazines that city workers said are
part of the Stonewall holdings, with titles such as
100 Percent Beef, Lesbian Bedtime Stories,
and Arab Slave Boys.
"I had no idea
this was what the homosexual book collection is all
about," the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
newspaper quoted him as saying. "It's a shame it had to come
out during this whole toilet controversy. They'll
think it's some antigay thing—um,
executive director Jack Rutland told Gay.com that the
above-mentioned titles are in the collection's
noncirculating archive, which includes 7,000 documents
relevant to national and Southeastern LGBT history.
"If you are
documenting gay and lesbian history, erotica is part of
that," Rutland said.
There is also a
circulating collection of 18,000 books and films, he
said, and the new space will give patrons better access to
Tuesday's meeting was partly a referendum on Naugle's views.
"Reach into your
hearts and make this gay man a happy gay man," jibed
out former commissioner Dean Trantalis from the audience.
"If I've learned
one thing from this," the Sun-Sentinel quoted Naugle
as saying, "it's that there are a lot of happy
homosexuals in Fort Lauderdale."
commissioner Christine Teel cast the dissenting votes.
(Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)