Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jim Naugle returns (ugh)

Maybe Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle felt pushed to the side because of the San Diego firefighters lawsuit.

Or maybe he just likes looking like an idiot.

For whatever reason, yesterday, Naugle passed the threshold of nauseatingly annoying to being a complete moron when he held yet another press conference. And just like his last one, Naugle used this opportunity to rail against Florida's lgbt community.

And this time, he brought a posse, including John R. Diggs (author of the distorted study The Health Risks of Gay Sex) and Janet Folger (the wannabe 20th century version of Joan of Arc).

However we found out something new from this press conference. Apparently Naugle was using outdated studies (surprise, suprise) in his claims about AIDS in his area:

A health department official said some of the statistics used by the mayor are outdated.

For example, the county is no longer first in the nation in AIDS cases per 100,000 residents, said the official, AIDS surveilliance manager Pat Callahan Taylor.

Broward County does have an HIV/AIDS crisis, she said, and has had one for years. But it's not isolated to gay men.Black, heterosexual women make up a significant number of new HIV cases. Women make up a third of the 6,913 HIV cases diagnosed in Broward in the past 10 years."

I think it's really important when you're looking at the numbers to not just look at parts of it,'' said Taylor. "One of our favorite quotes is if you torture a statistic long enough, it will confess to anything. And I think that's what we've seen.''

But hey, why let a little thing like correct statistics stand in the way of getting into the kingdom of God. Naugle is obviously learning the tricks of the trade from Diggs and Folger.

The press conference left me confused. Is Naugle and company complaining about gay sex in public places (which area police continues to say is not a problem) or homosexuality in general.

I tend to think that they are intentionally distorting the issue. Naugle and company are doing this because they don't care about truth. As long as people come away with image of lgbts as disease ridden oversexed fiends, then their work is done.

And it's downright vulgar how they take a self righteous view of their own behavior:

"We are concerned of the moral fiber of this city,'' said Pastor Willie McBride, of the Lauderdale Christian Center in Plantation. " ... We have no hatred in our hearts toward you,'' he said. "When I lie, steal or cheat, God doesn't start hating me. But he hates the act.''

Meanwhile, expect a bunch of positive press to come Naugle's way from the anti-gay industry media machine.

Our friend Peter LaBarbera and his group, Americans for Truth (in name only) have been practically stewing in their own juices over the press conference. LaBarbera in particular describes Naugle's public sojourn as if it's the Second Coming complete with Gabriel blowing his horn and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in tow.

Of course One News Now has a very biased view of the situation:

The mayor of Fort Lauderdale is standing firm in his conservative beliefs, despite being hammered in the press and by homosexual activists. For one thing, they don't like the fact that the mayor plans to crack down on illegal sexual activity in public.

And at Florida Baptist Witness, there is this bit from Executive Editor James A. Smith, Sr.:

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle happens to believe that sex acts should not be permitted in his city's public restrooms. For that "bigoted" belief and others that have offended South Florida's—indeed, the nation's—homosexual lobby, Naugle is under intense criticism, including protest rallies, a recall effort and the scorn of Broward County elected officials.

I say, thank you, Mayor Naugle.

Of course both pieces makes it seem as if Ft. Lauderdale's lgbt community is angry at Naugle because of his "stand against public sex." Neither piece has any quotes or comments from Ft Lauderdale's lgbt community.

And neither piece has any comments from the area police who (and I repeat) have said again and again that public gay sex is not a problem in Ft. Lauderdale.

Let me state again that the anger over Naugle's behavior is not a defense of any type of public sex.

Ft. Lauderdale's lgbt community and many others (myself included) are angry because Naugle is using a moral panic to demonize an innocent community of people.

His eagerness to pander to ignorance and stereotypes is not the behavior of a decent human being, much less an elected official.

Naugle is a demagogue, pure and simple. He is a vile, media obsessed monster no different than any other figure in history who used religion to control people or torture innocents for their own sadistic purposes.

Sooner or later, if he hasn't already, Naugle is going to overplay his hand.

And I hope to be here to record it.