Outgoing Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle has upset gay activist again over remarks that a gay mayoral candidate could win if he was a “responsible homosexual.” Last year, the Venice of America mayor found himself in hot water when he said, “I use the word homosexual. Most of them aren't gay; they're unhappy.”

The mayoral race in Ft. Lauderdale includes two openly gay candidates: former city commissioner Dean Trantalis and businessman Earl Rynerson. Both men say Naugle's negative remarks inspired them to run for the job. Naugle, who has held the office since 1991, cannot run again due to term limits.

Speaking on 850WFTL conservative talk radio Thursday, Naugle was asked if he believed a gay candidate could win the mayor's office.

“I think that a homosexual does have a chance to be elected mayor in Ft. Lauderdale, if they reject that notion that it's okay to take over our parks and public spaces with that kind of activity,” Naugle said, referring to men having sex in park restrooms. “I mean if a responsible homosexual would run for office and reject that kind of activity, if a responsible homosexual were to run for office and do something about the AIDS crisis -- recognizing that promiscuous activity has a heavy cost on human life and dollars.”

When asked if he would be remembered as the anti-gay mayor, Naugel disagreed, “I want to be remembered as one of the first politicians that rejected political correctness.”

Historians, however, might have a different view. The mayor upset gay activists last year after he began arresting gay men accused of having sex in park restrooms. At first the mayor said he was protecting children, but later added that he was saving lives from HIV. Yet, from the beginning of the controversy police reported few problems in the parks.

Speaking on the same radio program this morning, Earl Rynerson said he had contacted the police department and requested information on the parks. He said a police department investigation found only 10 reports of gay sexual activity in the parks during the past two years. In fact, he pointed out, there was a greater straight sex problem in the parks, with as many as 15 cases reported within the same years.

“He needs to be responsible with the words he says. He is totally irresponsible and shameless in the comments.” Dean Trantalis told CBS4 News. “The Mayor has some serious problems with sexual orientation and enough is enough.”