FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, (July 31, 2007)- Coral Ridge Ministries today expressed strong support for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle.
"Mayor Naugle is to be commended for his courage in identifying a public health and public morals crisis in Fort Lauderdale," said Jerry Newcombe, Coral Ridge Ministries' spokesman and Senior Producer of The Coral Ridge Hour.
"Broward leads the nation in the number of new AIDS cases arising from men who have sex with other men. By drawing attention to that disturbing fact, Naugle is demonstrating more compassion for homosexuals than local homosexual leaders who seem to have no problem with the reckless spread of sexually transmitted diseases."
Many local politicians, some in the local media, and members of the homosexual community in Fort Lauderdale harshly condemned Mayor Naugle last week for stating that male-to-male sexual encounters take place in city park restrooms and elsewhere in the city, and that homosexuals are not happy.
"Mayor Naugle has the facts on his side," said Newcombe, the coauthor with Dr. D. James Kennedy of numerous books. "Despite vague dismissals in media accounts, 'cruising' in public places for anonymous male-to-male sexual encounters is taking place in Fort Lauderdale. This activity makes public restrooms dangerous and unhealthy-particularly for unsuspecting children."
Newcombe noted that an Americans for Truth report cited a "Cruising for Sex" website that offered a lengthy list, complete with recent user reports, of Fort Lauderdale parks, shopping malls, department stores, and bathhouses, where anonymous homosexual encounters take place. The AFT report may be accessed here.
"Anonymous homosexual encounters in public places are a well-known reality within the homosexual subculture," said Newcombe. "Lambda Legal's 'Little Black Book,' counsels men, for example, 'If you cruise in parks, bathrooms or other spaces open to public view, trust your instincts, be aware of your surroundings....'"
"Individual homosexuals may be happy," Newcombe said, "but as a group, social science research indicates they are more troubled than the population as a whole." He noted that a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found, according to a Family Research Council summary, that "Those classified as 'gay,' lesbian, or bisexual were significantly more likely to have had mental health problems."
"There is nothing happy about anonymous sexual encounters in public places," said Newcombe. "That is why it is so wonderful to hear the reports of people like Tom Cole, who we have featured on The Coral Ridge Hour, and many others who have walked away from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ. Christ brings deliverance and true happiness from the self-destructive behaviors that are so often associated with the 'gay' lifestyle."
"Mayor Naugle has performed a true public service," said Newcombe, "by exposing to public view a hidden reality. His opponents are trying to bury that reality underneath an avalanche of criticism. The public-and those who put themselves and others at risk by engaging in public sex-are ill served when leaders ignore a real threat. These leaders, not Mayor Naugle, owe the community an apology. It's one thing for Fort Lauderdale to be a 'gay' capital in our country. It's quite another thing to be the HIV/AIDS capital-and that's what this mayor is courageously fighting."