FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Aug 27, 2007
Contact: Waymon Hudson
Fight OUT Loud
BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION TO REMOVE NAUGLE FROM TOURISM BOARD OVER BIGOTED COMMENTS
What: The Broward County Commission will be voting Tuesday, August 28th, to remove Mayor Jim Naugle from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism Development Council due to his hate-filled crusade against the gay community.
From: Waymon Hudson, Community Activist and President of Fight OUT Loud, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate.
Why: Fight OUT Loud is pleased to support Commissioner Stacey Ritter's plan to remove Naugle from the Broward County Tourism Development Council. This motion will be on the agenda for vote on Tuesday, August 28th. The move comes in response to Naugle's continued attacks on the gay community. Commissioner Stacy Ritter said Naugle's comments have been counter to the board's mission and are cause to remove him before his term ends next spring.
Members of the Tourism Development Council and Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau have publicly stated that Naugle's continued "mischaracterizations" and "hurtful, mean-spirited rhetoric" regarding the gay community have severely damaged the city and surrounding areas. Travel industry leaders have told the board that groups have begun putting their travel plans to Fort Lauderdale on hold. Board members said that each time the mayor speaks they receive hundreds of E-mails from potential visitors to Ft Lauderdale, saying they plan to take their money elsewhere. Visitors, both gay and straight, have begun to worry that the Greater Fort Lauderdale area is no longer a welcoming or safe place to travel. In fact, the Bay Areas Reporter, one of the nation's most influential LGBT publications, published an editorial calling for a boycott of Fort Lauderdale .
Fight OUT Loud applauds Ritter and the County Commission for taking steps to remove Naugle from the Tourism Board, thereby giving him one less platform from which to spew dangerous misinformation and hate. Naugle is on a personal mission to demonize a large segment of the community he represents. By continuing his spread of lies and bigotry for his own personal satisfaction and agenda, Naugle has put the entire region at risk economically as well threatened the safety of LGBT citizens and visitors. He is putting the public at great risk by spreading misinformation about HIV/AIDS and other health issues. The mayor is also endangering the entire community by painting everyday citizens as depraved criminals and "abominations", in the process encouraging hate and violence against them.
Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding communities have been damaged in the eyes of the public. Travelers and residents are beginning to feel that it is no longer a safe, modern, accepting place. He is hurting every member of the community by continuing these attacks and must be stopped.
Fight OUT Loud is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping GLBT individuals fight discrimination and hate. www.fightOUTloud.org