Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Something worth knowing about the Jim Naugle controversy

By now the controversy over anti-gay Florida Mayor Jim Naugle is probably wearing thin, except for in anti-gay industry circles.

But today, something came out that needs to be said yet again.

As I stated before, an effective anti-gay industry tactic is to distort something about the lgbt community and repeat it ad naseum.

With that in mind, I saw an article today that yet again clearly shows that Naugle and his supporters are attempting to create a moral panic about "public sex" to yet again demonize the gay community:

When Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle linked the purchase of new toilets for beach parks to gay sex in public places, he uncorked a torrent of protest. But just how prevalent is public sex?

No one keeps detailed statistics on sex in public restrooms and parks. South Florida law enforcement agencies say they receive occasional complaints and make a few arrests, but they don't spend much time cracking down on it. Since 2005, Fort Lauderdale has reported two arrests for sexual activity in a public restroom.

''I don't know whether it's the perception or the reality, but it doesn't seem like it's that much of a problem,'' Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Leljedal said.

Miami-Dade Police cracked down on public sex at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., in August 2001 and made 17 arrests. Police spokesman Juan Villalba said he knows of no current sting operations.

And check out this quote from Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition of South Florida:

''The majority of homosexuals and heterosexuals don't engage in public sex, and if you poll them they would say it's wrong,'' Verdugo said. ``But the issue is a valid issue that the mayor brought up in terms of public sex and listings on the website.''

No matter how valid the issue seems to be, it is not an issue that should be used to demonize an entire community for alleged actions of a few.

Someone alert Janet Folger!!