Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Annals in Irony

From the Sun-Sentinel:

It would be ironic, but if a gay candidate wins the mayor’s post in Fort Lauderdale next spring, city residents would have Mayor Jim Naugle to thank.

A second openly gay candidate filed to run for Fort Lauderdale mayor this week, citing Naugle’s comments last year as inspiration.

Political newcomer Earl Rynerson, owner of a tile store, joins former City Commissioner Dean Trantalis as an openly gay mayoral hopeful.

Rynerson said he wants to polish the city’s image, which he said was tarnished by Naugle.

Naugle last summer uttered a quote that was heard across gay America: “I use the word homosexual. Most of them aren’t gay; they’re unhappy.”

That and the mayor’s subsequent comments, including his allegation that gay men have sex in public restrooms, touched off a culture war of sorts in Fort Lauderdale. Naugle spoke out about “safe parks” with bathrooms free of sex.

Gay residents, and their heterosexual supporters, held a “Flush Naugle” rally and protested Naugle’s seeming intolerance.

The mayor’s comments also inspired former city commissioner Trantalis to run for mayor. Trantalis filed his paperwork in June.

If Mayor Naugle wants to know why gay people are unhappy, it’s because bigots like him are holding public office and using taxpayer dollars to marginalize them. And when people are unhappy, they’re motivated to do something, like run for office and get rid of the legacy of people like Mayor Naugle.