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08/21/2007

What, was Fred Phelps too busy?

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 12-29Do you hold on to any remaining hope that Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle is on his "gay public sex" crusade because of anything other than homophobia and queer animosity? Well, consider this. Today, Naugle joined forces with the likes of rabidly anti-preacher O'Neal Dozier to ostensibly "address Fort Lauderdale's public health crisis." And at their joint press conference on the supposed matter of curbing HIV infections, Rev. Dozier took a moment to say the following about gays:

"We want the homosexual community to know that we love them and God loves them also. But God hates the act of homosexuality."

Oh, the old "love the sinner, hate the sin" line. But lest you think his anti-gay sentiment is truly of any sort of "loving" variety, this is the same O'Neal Dozier who back in 2003 publicly referred to HIV-AIDS as "a type of judgment for such a sin as this one, homosexuality." Oh, and he also called being gay "something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit."

Charming, no? And TOTALLY the sort of person that a mayor, supposed representative of all the citizens, should be trotting out, right?

But wait, the madness doesn't stop there. Others in attendance at the Naugle press conference included the newly formed Healthypublicplaces.com coalition, which, according to their own press release, is a consortium whose members come from such extremist groups as Americans for Truth, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Faith2Action, and Stephen Bennett Ministries. So basically you have a mayor demonizing gays as public sex-loving perverts, and joining arm-in-arm with some of our community's most frighteningly antipathetic adversaries to do so. And the thing is, these aren't even more mainstream opponents like James Dobson or Tony Perkins. No, we're talking about the mayor of a heavily gay-populated city joining ranks with a fringe element of "pro-family" foes who truly seem to want us to be rendered "ex-gay" or else!! This is not only a sad development, but also a REALLY, REALLY SCARY one!

Video and coverage of the conference at link:

Mayor Says Gay Sex Is Public Health Issue [Local10.com]

**Even more complete video of today's conference can be viewed here, here, here

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Your thoughts

Teel@fortlauderdale.gov, CRodstrom@fortlauderdale.gov, CMoore@fortlauderdale.gov, CHutchinson@fortlauderdale.gov

WRITE THE FORT LAUDERDALE CITY COMMISIONERS

Posted by: rjp3 | Aug 22, 2007 3:23:53 PM

Yes, this is scary. So let's do something about it. What can we do? Is HRC involved? We need to do something powerful. Unfortunately, the guy with AIDS yelling at the mayor is not the best way to handle this. We've got to use our brains and put emotion to the side.

Posted by: Annemarie | Aug 23, 2007 10:56:24 AM

This man is grandstanding, because he is part of the strange conservatives with a regressive worldview. I suspect he knows his political career is on the rocks, because he is assuming he can demonize gay people and rebuild political capital. Such a strategy is commonplace among fundamentalist crazies of all religions - they seem to think we are an easy mark and it is usually gay people or 'loose' women.

I hope they all rot together with Jerry Falwell, who has gone on ahead of them to set things up in hell...

Posted by: James Lovette-Black | Aug 23, 2007 9:03:40 PM

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