Tag Archives: Dade County

We Did It Before and We Can Do It Again: Revisiting The Anita Bryant Florida Orange Juice Boycott of 1977

Gay History – June 7: Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” Dade County Gay Rights Repeal Vote Succeeds.

June 7:

1778 – Beau Brummell  born in London.  His real name was George Bryan Brummell. This English dandy is responsible for the caricature of the gay males that persisted for generations. He lived in the poshest apartments, wore the most stylish clothes, and lived beyond his means to attain them.

His bons mots have survived him. Asked if he ever ate vegetables, he replied that he “once ate a pea.” He also claimed to have caught a cold from a “damp stranger” and is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man’s suit, worn with a tie. He said it took him five hours to dress and he recommended that boots be polished with champagne and had the most bitchy sense of humor in England. 

Brummell died in an insane asylum hounded by his creditors.

1928 – Birth date of James Ivory, director. Ivory is best known for the results of his long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, which included both Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Their films won six Academy Awards.

1954 – Alan Turing, father of computer science and mathematical genius, commits suicide using cyanide. He had been responsible for cracking a code used by Germany during World War II, which gave the Allies an advantage. After being tried for homosexual acts, he was forced to undergo medical treatments including estrogen injections.

1970 – Author E.M. Forster died after a series of strokes. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster’s humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: “Only connect … “. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.

1975 – New Hampshire state legislators accidentally repealed their state’s sodomy laws due to ambiguous wording in a rape penalties bill. They didn’t know they had done it until gay publications pointed it out, but allowed the repeal to stand.

1977 – A referendum, in Dade County, Florida forced by fundamentalist Christian Anita Bryant, husband Bob Green and their “Save Our Children” organization repealed the county’s gay rights ordinance prohibiting discrimination on basis of sexual orientation. It was the first major battle — and defeat — in the struggle for gay civil rights in United States. It was also the first successful use of “child molestation tactic” by anti- gay forces and set the pattern of attack for remainder of Seventies and into Eighties.

Bryant’s game plan against homosexuals was fearmongering  and thier “access to children” which would be her group’s main focus. She told one audience, “Some males who would become teachers even want to wear dresses to work and flaunt their homosexuality in front of our children.” To another, she warned,  “When the law requires you to let an admitted homosexual teach your children and serve as a role model for them, it’s time to stop being so tolerant.” She also blamed homosexuals for the weather. “Do you know why California has a drought? Because a Southern California city passed a gay rights ordinance. That’s God’s way of punishing civilizations that are tolerant of homosexuals.”

Bryant who would later lose her lucrative Florida orange juice spokeswoman gig also lost a planned syndicated television series when producers backed away from the controversial singer. This gave her a chance to reveal her persecution complex. Declaring that “the blacklisting of Anita Bryant has begun,” she claimed that in losing that job, “it destroys the dream that I have had since I was a child.”

After failing at almost everything she has tried since the late 1970′s Anita Bryant resurfaced in 2010 at the anti-gay, “Reclaiming America for Christ” rally in Oklahoma City alongside state Rep. Sally Kern (R) and the ever-lying David Barton of  Wallbuilders

Anita Bryant will forever be etched in history as the most homophobic EVIL BITCH ever.

1978 – California’s Proposition Six, also known as the Briggs initiative, qualified for the November ballot. The bill sought to ban gay teachers and forbid discussion of homosexuality that was neutral or positive.

1989 – Health officials in Alabama announced that its state Medicaid program would begin paying for the drug AZT. Alabama was the only state at that time that refused to cover AZT.

1989 – Ethel May Punchon, who publicly came out as a lesbian at age 105, died of natural causes in Melbourne, Australia at age 106.

1990 – A demonstration was held in Hyde Park (London) against police entrapment.

1997 – President Clinton made an address to the nation calling for action against hate crimes, including anti-gay violence. Of course this was years before Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell into law destroying the lives of thousands of gays and lesbians for  “our own good”.

1998 – Pope John Paul II gives a speech attacking the recognition of same-sex relationships.

1998 – Reggie White, defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, vowed to continue to fight against homosexual rights. The homophobe also claimed that God told him not to retire from the Green Bay Packers.

2003 – Reverend V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal diocese of New Hampshire, becoming the first openly gay bishop in the church’s history. 2003 – Just weeks after the Philadelphia council of the Boy Scouts of America passed a resolution to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy (in order to receive funds from United Way), it expelled an 18-year-old scout for being openly gay.

2006 – Macy’s department store in Boston removed a window display marking the city’s Gay Pride week after MassResistance, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, complained it was offensive. The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a Gay Pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events. MassResistance said the mannequin wearing the flag had a “skirt” on.

2007 – Isaiah Washington lost his acting job on the hit ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” five months after creating a furor with his use of an anti-gay slur toward another actor. Washington is still unemployed most of the time till this very day.

PRIDE Month + Gay History – June 8: The First Gay Activist Priest, Lambda Rising Bookstore, and So Much More!

June 8th. is a BIG LGBT history day.  

1860 – Gay American author and art collector Edward Perry Warren was born on this date. Under the pseudonym Arthur Lyon Raile, he wrote a three-volume 60,000-word “Defense of Uranian Love.” He also wrote poetry and novels on the same subject, notably “Itamos: A Volume of Poems,” and “A Tale of Pausanias Love,” about homosexuality at Oxford.

Warren purchased the Roman silver drinking vessel known as the Warren Cup, now in the British Museum, which he did not attempt to sell during his lifetime because of its explicit depiction of homoerotic scenes. He also commissioned a version of The Kiss from Auguste Rodin, which he offered as a gift to the local council in Lewes. The council displayed it for two years before returning it as unsuitable for public display. It is now in the Tate Gallery.

1903 – Birth date of bisexual French author Marguerite Yourcenar Her first novel, “Alexis”, was published in 1929. Translator Grace Frick invited her to America, where she lectured in comparative literature in New York City. She and Frick became lovers in 1937 and remained together until Frick died in 1979. In 1951 Yourcenar published the French-language novel “Memoires d’Hadrien” (Memoirs of Hadrian), which was an immediate success and met with great critical acclaim.

In 1939 Yourcenar’s intimate companion at the time, the literary scholar and Kansas City native Grace Frick invited the writer to the United States to escape the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Yourcenar lectured in comparative literature in New York City and Sarah Lawrence College. Yourcenar was bisexual; she and Frick became lovers in 1937 and remained together until Frick died in 1979. After ten years spent in Hartford, Connecticut, they bought a house in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine, where they lived for decades.

1923 – Malcolm Boyd (pictured above), becomes the first openly gay clergyman in a mainstream U.S. church.

Boyd was born in Manhattan NY and for a few years worked in the film business.  Boyd entered the Episcopal seminary in 1951 and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1955. He traced his difficulties in his autobiography, “Take Off the Masks” (1978).

In the 1940s Boyd moved to California and eventually became a Hollywood junior producer.  He began moving up in the Hollywood world, eventually founding PRB, a production company, with Mary Pickford. At the same time, amidst all the abundance, he found himself looking for meaning in different places — including churches.

In 1951 Boyd began studying to become a priest at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He graduated in 1954 and was ordained a deacon.  Boyd studied further at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and in the 1960s, Boyd became known as “the Espresso Priest” for his religiously-themed poetry-reading sessions at the Hungry i nightclub in San Francisco,

Boyd went on to become a prominent white clergyman in the American Civil Rights Movement. He participated as one of the Freedom Riders in 1961.

Boyd was also active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

In 1977 Boyd came out of the closet, becoming the most prominent homosexual clergyperson to come out. In the 1980s Boyd met gay activist and author Mark Thompson, who would become his long-time partner

1956 – The case of Clackum vs. the United States was brought to court. The plaintiff had been a reservist in the US Air Force and was given an other-than-honorable discharge after she refused to resign following accusations of homosexual activity. The court ruled that there was no reason to change the type of discharge. She was deprived of the rights and benefits of an honorably discharged service member.

1972 – Camille Mitchell of San Jose, California became the first openly lesbian mother to be granted custody of her children in a divorce proceeding. The judge ordered her not to live with her lover and only see her lover during times when her children were at school or visiting their father.

1974 – Lambda Rising bookstore opened in Washington, DC. Founded by Deacon Maccubbin in 1974 with 250 titles, it was known for its wide selection of books, ranging from LGBT theory and religion to erotica, as well as DVDs, music CDs, and gifts.

To support LGBT literature, Lambda Rising created the Lambda Book Report in 1987 and the annual Lambda Literary Award, also known as “the Lammys,” in 1989. In 1996, Lambda Rising turned those projects over to the new non-profit Lambda Literary Foundation.

In December 2009, Maccubbin announced that Lambda Rising’s two stores would close by January 2010.  In his statement, Maccubbin said the phrase ‘mission accomplished’ has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but in this case, it certainly applies.”
“When we set out to establish Lambda Rising in 1974, it was intended as a demonstration of the demand for gay and lesbian literature. We thought… we could encourage the writing and publishing of LGBT books, and sooner or later other bookstores would put those books on their shelves and there would be less need for a specifically gay and lesbian bookstore. Today, 35 years later, nearly every general bookstore carries LGBT books.  We said when we opened it: Our goal is to show there’s a market for LGBT literature, to show authors they should be writing this literature, to show publishers they should be publishing it, and bookstores they should be carrying it. And if we’re successful, there will no longer be a need for a specialty gay and lesbian bookstore because every bookstore will be carrying them. And 35 years later, that’s what happened. We call that mission accomplished.”
r a specifically gay and lesbian bookstore. Today, 35 years later, 

1975 – Members of the gay rights group GATE appeared before a Parliamentary Committee in Toronto on Immigration and called for dropping all references to homosexuality in Immigration Act.

1977 – 10,000 demonstrators marched in NYC to protest the repeal of the gay rights ordinance in Miami the day before. Composer Paul Williams and his wife took out a full-page ad in Variety supporting a boycott of Florida orange juice, the product for which hate-monger Anita Bryant did commercials.

1977 – Florida’s homophobic governor, Reubin Askew, signed into law a bill forbidding same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by homosexuals. It took more than three decades to overturn the adoption ban.

1988 – Dennis Shere was fired from the “Dayton Daily News” in Ohio for refusing to accept an ad by a gay organization for a health seminar and legal services.

1989 – Composer Louis Weingarten dies of complications from AIDS at age 45. Weingarten, who was born in Detroit, graduated from the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Elliott Carter.

In 1968, Mr. Weingarden won the Prix de Rome and studied at the American Academy in Rome for two years. In 1972, he won a composer’s grant from the estate of the composer Charles Ives, an award administered by the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Among his works is ”Evening Liturgy of Consolation,” which was commissioned by another AIDS patient.

In 1968, Mr. Weingarden won the Prix de Rome and studied at the American Academy in Rome for two years. In 1972, he won a composer’s grant from the estate of the composer Charles Ives, an award administered by the National Institute of Arts and Letters. 

2000 – Outspoken Irish-born singer Sinead O’Connor, 33, said in a letter to the UK’s “Hot Press” recording industry magazine, “I am a lesbian. I love men but I prefer sex with women and I prefer romantic relationships with women.”

2003 – New Hampshire Episcopalians elected Gene Robinson to be their bishop, making him the first openly gay bishop in the worldwide Anglican Church and sparking a controversy that continues today.

2005 – Colorful rainbow flags, symbols of gay pride, began flying over the historic Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Fla. after a federal judge ruled against city leaders who had turned down several requests by a local LGBT group to fly the flags.

2007 – The Department of Defense announced that the homophobic chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, would be replaced in September. Pace stirred controversy by saying that homosexuality is immoral and the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly.

2007 – In an essay in the New York Times magazine, ex-Navy petty officer Stephen Baldwin wrote about the pain of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy of discharging gays from the military: “As the friends I once served with head off to 15-month deployments, I regret I’m not there to lessen their burden and to serve my country. I’m trained to fight, I speak Arabic and I’m willing to serve. No recruiter needs to make a persuasive argument to sign me up. I’m ready, and I’m waiting.”