The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has condemned Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for the divisive and defamatory terminology he has used to describe the gay community.

The New York-based organisation also stood with residents of Fort Lauderdale as well as members of various local and national organisations as they gathered yesterday to speak out against the Mayor’s offensive comments.

On July 4th, Naugle mentioned in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel that he backed the idea of the city buying smaller, free-standing toilets for the beach because they would cut down on “homosexual sex” between gay men.

“I don’t use the word ‘gay,’” he said. “I use the word ‘homosexual.’ Most of them aren’t gay. They’re unhappy.”

“A public leader should be unifying the community, not further segmenting it,” GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano, a former mayor of Tempe, Arizona, said.

“Mayor Naugle’s comments and his lack of remorse for dividing his community are wrong.

“He needs to enter a dialogue with the constituents his words have hurt and start being the mayor he was elected to be-one who represents all residents of the community.”

Numerous gay and lesbian activists, as well as straight allies from organisations such as the NAACP, gathered last night for their second rally in eight days to draw attention to Naugle’s anti-gay comments.

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