Jim Naugle vs. the Fort Lauderdale City Commission
This is one of those good news/bad news stories, so I'll start with the good news. The Fort Lauderdale City Commission, in its first meeting since Naugle started shooting his mouth off, rebuked him and passed a statement celebrating diversity. And it sounds like it was an exciting meeting.
Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson said she hoped everyone had a good summer.
“I know it was eventful,” she said, turning toward Naugle.
Hutchinson said she wanted the city to pass a resolution to reaffirm its respect for all people. Commissioner Christine Teel said she's been silent during the controversy, but not because she backs Naugle. She said people shouldn't be labeled, and elected officials shouldn't make comments that intentionally hurt people.
Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom walked out when Naugle started talking, saying she'd return when he was done.
And at the end of the night, the commission passed a resolution reaffirming the city's respect for “diversity of all groups.”
The resolution says that the city “would condemn any statement or action that shows disrespect for any segment of our population or that violates Our Values” and that the city has a diverse population of “varying races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations.”
Naugle even voted for the resolution, once he got the words “and families” added to a line that asks the tourist bureau to market to diverse groups. I'd say that families qualify as a group already, and that the word diverse is inclusive enough to fit them in, and were I a member of the Commission, I'd have probably pointed that out, perhaps in the form of a paper wad thrown at Naugle's head at this point, but that would probably be petty. I've been pleased with the way the city has handled this whole crupid, stubatshit mess so far, though I agree that a full censure is in order.
Now for the downside. The mouth-breathers, perhaps looking to step in and suck up some of the oxygen freed by the death of D. James Kennedy yesterday, climbed all over themselves to see which one could out gay-bash the other.
The Rev. O'Neal Dozier said he was there to support Naugle.
“I speak for God,”said Dozier, of Pompano Beach's Worldwide Christian Center. “God sees homosexuality as an abomination. It is something that causes him to want to vomit. That's what the Hebrew text says. It is just that ungodly and just that nasty.”
You speak for God? I'm an atheist, with precious little respect for the niceties of religious speech, and I wouldn't go that far. What you speak for, Mr. Dozier, is hate and bigotry and self-aggrandizement and you're cloaking it in religion so the rest of the community might miss just how despicable a person you are.
A different group of clergy yesterday held a “revival” spewing much of the same nonsense, only they went farther, showing support for Naugle's attempts to ban homosexual activity in Broward, something he hasn't actually attempted.
But here's a reverend I can agree with completely–and I've actually been to his church for a concert, and enjoyed it very much.
The Right Rev. Grant Ford of Sunshine Cathedral said the mayor should not use his post for moral judgment.
“In all these years as pastor, I have never wanted the mayor's job. So it comes as a surprise that he wants mine,” he said.
Thank you Reverend, not only for being sane, but for standing against the Doziers and others who would divide our community for their own selfish gain.
How much longer is Naugle in office again?