Gay toilet paper protest targets Lauderdale mayor’s robo-john comments

Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

Mayor Jim Naugle may be getting a lot more paperwork.

Gay rights activists in the state have launched a drive to engulf the Fort Lauderdale mayor with toilet paper to mock his comments about gay sex in public bathrooms.

"We are encouraging people to mail either a roll or several sheets of toilet paper to the mayor at City Hall to help him to wipe his dirty mind clean,'' said Brian Winfield, spokesman for Equality Florida, a gay rights organization that helped start the toilet paper protest Friday.

The uproar started after Naugle's comments in a July 4 article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about the city's plan to buy a $250,000 self-cleaning robotic toilet for beachgoers. The device could be programmed with a time limit, after which the door would fly open.

In the article, Naugle was quoted as saying the toilet could prevent "homosexual activity'' that has occurred at other public restrooms.

"Sometimes (public restrooms) are used for sexual activity -- most of it is men meeting men because it's same-sex people in the bathrooms,'' Naugle said.

Equality Florida has provided a link on its Web site to send Naugle a virtual roll of toilet paper and listed his City Hall address for those who want to send a real roll.

Naugle said no actual toilet paper rolls have arrived at his office. However, more than 300 people have e-mailed the mayor a virtual roll, Winfield said.

"It's an e-mail -- some juvenile diagram of a toilet,'' Naugle said.

Last year, police made one arrest for such activity in a beach bathroom and another at the Coral Ridge Mall, Naugle said.

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