TOURISM BOARD DEMANDS NAUGLE STOP ATTACKS ON GAY COMMUNITY
What: Fort Lauderdale Tourism Board demands Naugle stop his hate-filled crusade against the gay community.
Who: 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: Members of the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Board demanded today that the mayor stop damaging the reputation of the city and its surrounding communities with his "mischaracterizations" and "hurtful, mean-spirited rhetoric" regarding the gay community. They said "damage has been done" by his comments and continued attacks. It has been reported that travel industry leaders have told the board that there are consequences to the mayor's crusade and they are beginning to be felt as groups put 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. One board member said a 200-person group was scheduled to stay at a prominent hotel in Ft Lauderdale. In light of Naugle's comments, they have placed the reservation, along with $250,000 in revenue, on hold. These concerns have come from not only gay and lesbian travelers, but from other tourists as well. They have said they no longer see the Greater Fort Lauderdale area as a welcoming or safe place to travel. The mayor's response was, "I am the Mayor that's not going to back down."
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. People are turning away from this wonderful community because of the mayor's obsession with spreading lies about good, productive members of the city. He is making the city feel unsafe by continuing these attacks and bigoted stereotypes, thereby inciting hatred and violence against gays and lesbians.
It is very obvious that the mayor will continue his bigoted personal crusade despite the fact that every assertion he has made has been proven false. Naugle is on a personal mission to demonize a segment of the community he represents. He is determined to hurt the entire region, through both economics and public safety by continuing his spread of lies and bigotry for his own personal satisfaction and agenda. Naugle 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 violence against them. He is hurting every member of our 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.
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