Tag Archives: Anita Bryant

Gay History 101 – WATCH: The Story Of “The Castro” – FULL Documentary

As many of you know a lot of my history posts tend to lean more twords New York City’s gay history mostly because that is where I hail from.  That being said I would like to share with you a very interesting and great documentary I stumbled upon about the history of the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco.

Originally shown during the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 1996, The Castro is a 90-minute documentary tells the dramatic story of how a quiet corner of San Francisco became the cornerstone of a movement-an international symbol of gay liberation.

Using rare archival film and fresh contemporary footage, the story of the Castro’s transformation and history is told by the people who lived it: young and old, straight and gay. They bring to life a history ranging from the discriminatory world of the 1950s, through the flowering of “gay power,” and into the age of AIDS.

The Castro, was produced by KQED San Francisco/PBS  and won the George Foster Peabody Award, a CINE Golden Eagle Award and was   screened at numerous film festivals in the United States and abroad.

Its a must see for anyone interested in our history.

Long Lost Photos of Harvey Milk Unearthed

Long Lost Photos of Harvey Milk Unearthed

Long lost photos of Harvey Milk debating, Republican state Sen. John Briggs of Orange County,  on Sept. 15, 1978, at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. over the Briggs Initiative — a state proposition that would have made it mandatory for school boards to fire openly gay and lesbian teachers.have been found and published almost 40 years later by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Also called California Proposition 6 the initiative was on the California State ballot on November 7, 1978 The Briggs Initiative was the first failure in a movement that started with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida, to repeal a local gay rights ordinance.

A diverse group of politicians including (shockingly) Ronald ReaganJerry BrownGerald Ford, United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, Giants owner Bob Lurie and then-president Jimmy Carter all opposed the bill.

At the debate Harvey Milk dismantled each of Briggs’ arguments with facts and shamed the senator for his most archaic talking points.

You normal people — who have a family, who have children — do you want a sexually disoriented person teaching your children?” Briggs asked, to hisses and boos from the audience..

Milk countered: “Child molesters are heterosexual, rapists are heterosexual. … Most murderers are heterosexual. Do you want those people teaching your children? You’re lying through your teeth and you know it.”

At one point, Milk asked Briggs who should be allowed to counsel a gay boy at a public high school such as Northgate.

“I would like him to go to a preacher,” Briggs responded, “or a pastor or a psychologist who could lead him out of that.”

Chronicle photographer John Storey who attended the event took dozens of pictures that were never published.

The recently discovered images, reveal a dramatic and oddly staged event. Milk and Briggs sat on school-issued chairs in the middle of the Northgate High basketball court, facing a handful of media members. The audience, made up of community members young and old, sat in the bleachers on the side.

If Briggs wins he will not stop. They never do,” Milk said during a speech at the end of the 1978 Gay Pride Parade. “Like all mad people, they are forced to go on, to prove they were right. There will be no safe ‘closet’ for any gay person.

“So break out of yours today — tear the damn thing down once and for all!”

The Briggs Initiative was soundly defeated on Nov. 7, 1978, losing by more than a million votes.

WATCH: Rare Archival Footage of Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” Campaign Against The Gay Community – Video

 

Save Our Children, Inc. was a political coalition formed in 1977 in Miami, Florida to overturn a recently legislated county ordinance that banned discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. The coalition was publicly headed by celebrity singer Anita Bryant, who claimed the ordinance discriminated against her right to teach her children biblical morality. It was a well-organized campaign that initiated a bitter political fight between unprepared gay activists and highly motivated Christian fundamentalists. When the repeal of the ordinance went to a vote, it attracted the largest response of any special election in Dade County’s history, passing by 70%. Save Our Children was the first organized opposition to the gay rights movement, whose beginnings were traced to the Stonewall riots in 1969. The defeat of the ordinance encouraged groups in other cities to attempt to overturn similar laws. In the next year voters in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wichita, Kansas, and Eugene, Oregon overturned ordinances in those cities, sharing many of the same campaign strategies that were used in Miami. Save Our Children was also involved in Seattle, Washington, where they were unsuccessful, and heavily influenced Proposition 6—a proposed state law in California that would have made the firing of openly gay public school employees mandatory—that was rejected by California voters in 1978.

This video features gay rights activists Bob Kunst, Leonard Matlovich, Jack Campbell, Ruth Shack & Melodie Moorehead

Decades later, divorced and with a string of bankruptcies in her wake Bryant will always be remembered as the hateful bitch that she was and still is to this day.

Even her lawn ornaments flee her.

 

Anti-Gay History Repeats Itself: Miami-Dade Rejects Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy Torture

 

In 1977, Dade County Florida tried to pass an ordinance that would forbid discrimination, due to sexual orientation. “Christian” Florida Orange Juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant was outraged at this. She said that homosexuals could not reproduce on their own and therefore were trying to push their “lifestyle” as an acceptable alternative to recruit children for their ranks. So she started a campaign called “Save Our Children” to rally support to stop the ordinance from passing. She teamed up with the likes of Jerry Falwell to organize a rebellion against gay rights.

In June of 1977, Anita Bryant’s campaign was successful and the ordinance was repealed by a margin of 69 to 31 percent.

Now today Miami-Dade County Florida has created another footnote for itself in anti-LGBT history  by rejecting a ban on harmful gay conversion therapy for minors saying it’s too intrusive on a family’s right to make decisions for their child.

The Miami Herald reports:

The 4 to 7 vote followed hours of public testimony, most of it from opponents of the proposed ordinance by Commissioner Sally Heyman. Supporters wanted Miami-Dade to join a list of local governments banning the discredited practice of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, but critics saw the ordinance as so broadly worded that it could ensnare a pastor’s sermon or a parent expressing concerns about a child’s choices on sexual activity.

The spirit of Anita Bryant lives on.

Mission: America Hate Shrew Linda Harvey: Gay Men Want To Sexually Abuse Kids To Covert Them

Linda Harvey

Welcome back to the 1970’s thanks to Columbus, OH  haus-frau, muckraker and president of officially listed hate group Mission: America, who this week channels her best Anita Bryant imitation to claim that gay men want to sexually abuse children in order to turn them gay and “convert” them to the LGBT rights cause. In her latest column for WorldWingnutNetDaily  Harvey puffs up her hair and sucks on an orange by posting a piece entitled “They’re creating ‘gays’ by corrupting our kids.” and recycles rhetoric by arguing that “the correlation between child molestation and the development of same-sex attraction for some youth is irrefutable.”

“Children, if asked, would really prefer not to be lured somewhere by a shady adult, shown pornography, given alcohol or drugs, told they ‘want this’ and were ‘born this way’ and end up in intimate contact they never chose, contact that messes with their body and soul and may take a lifetime to overcome. “Many recover, but some go on to embrace these premature, perverted desires. Some even become advocates for overturning marriage and civil rights law to enshrine homosexuality and gender rebellion as norms. “The movement for ‘LGBT equality’ is largely built on this quicksand. All of America is endangered if we bless the rotten fruits of criminal conduct against children. Are we insane? “It’s time America called the homosexual activists on their Stockholm syndrome. They were not born this way, but created through sexual indoctrination. “A vulnerable boy may be seduced by an uncle, cousin, or the guy down the street. Or if he is somehow persuaded he was ‘born that way,’ he may then show up at the local community center for ‘gay’ youth where he’ll meet older homosexuals who will take advantage of his youth and misinformation.”

That being said since most child abuse is heterosexual, I guess that explains why there are so many straight people? They’ve been converted! As for Linda Harvey there are plenty of bakeries in Columbus, OH.  So if she’s going to use historical anti-gay propaganda, perhaps a re-creation of a historical action against the anti-gay bigot is called for.

Uma Thurman Set To Star In Upcoming Biopic About Anita Bryant

Anita Bryant Pie In Face

 

Uma Thurman is set to star as 1970’s anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in Anita, to be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman from a screenplay by Chad Hodge.

Anita, will focus on the  former celebrity singer and orange juice spokeswoman, who, when she allows a gay screenwriter into her home, is forced to confront her past as an anti-gay Christian crusader who successfully campaigned to overturn a gay rights law in Florida and destroyed her show biz career in the process.

Epstein and Friedman, recently directed the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaardand Sharon Stone, while their documentary The Battle of amFAR will be broadcast on HBO in early December.

Bryant, who is still alive occasionally appears at minor  right-wing religious conservative rallies across the country.

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Nancy Grace Shows Her Ignorance: Anita Bryant Didn’t Deserve A Pie In The Face – Video and Commentary

Grace Bryant

 

In a discussion about a recent incident involving Brad Pitt where he was slapped on the red carpet, HLN host Nancy Grace had the nerve to bring up the 1977 pieing on Anita Bryant, who Grace called a “sweet lady” that reminded Grace of her mother.

If “Sweet Lady” Anita Bryant reminds Nancy Grace of her mother.  Mom was one evil bitch or Nancy is just a stupid one.

So taking into account that Nancy Grace might just be stupid lets give her a little history lesson:

Anita Bryant, American singer, former beauty queen, and pitchwoman for companies like Coke and Florida Orange Juice  started the venomous ‘Save Our Children’ campaign against homosexuals in Dade County, Florida that spread throughout the nation and led to an upswing in violent attacks, including murder, against gays and resulted in numerous cities denying or retracting civil rights ordinances for LGBT’s

In 1977 Bryant said:

“What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life. I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before.  As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children” and “If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters.” She also added that “All America and all the world will hear what the people have said, and with God’s continued help we will prevail in our fight to repeal similar laws throughout the nation.

On June 7, 1977, Bryant’s campaign led to a repeal of the anti-discrimination ordinance in Dade County, FL by a margin of 69 to 31 percent. The gay community retaliated against Bryant by organizing a boycott on orange juice. Gay bars all over North America took screwdrivers off their drink menus and replaced them with the “Anita Bryant”, which was made with vodka and apple juice.  Sales and proceeds went to gay civil rights activists to help fund their fight against Bryant and her campaign.

Bryant led several more campaigns around the country to repeal local anti-discrimination ordinances including St. Paul, Minnesota; Wichita, Kansas; and Eugene, Oregon. Her success led to an effort to pass the Briggs Initiative in California which would have made pro- or neutral statements regarding homosexuals or homosexuality by any public school employee cause for dismissal. Grass-roots liberal organizations, chiefly in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, sprang up to defeat the initiative.

On October 14, 1977, at press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, while reporters are questioning Anita Bryant about her national crusade against homosexuals, gay rights activist Tom Higgins threw a pie in Bryant’s face, which caused Bryant to comment “At least it was a fruit pie” before praying for Higgins and breaking down in tears.

After the “pieing incident” the Florida orange juice had become more prominent and it was supported by many celebrities including Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Paul Williams, John Waters, Carroll O’Connor, Mary Tyler Moore and Jane Fonda.

The fallout from the gay community and it’s supporters ruined Bryant. Her contract with the Florida Citrus Commission was allowed to lapse in 1979 because of the controversy, her marriage to her first husband Bob Green failed at that time, and in 1980 she divorced him, citing emotional abusiveness and latent suicidal thoughts. Even the fundamentalist audiences and venues shunned her after her divorce as she was no longer invited to appear at their events and she lost another major source of income. With her four children, Bryant moved from Miami to Selma, Alabama, and later to Atlanta, Georgia where she still lives today.

In June of 2010 smelling the money that the anti-gay groups of today make and pay Bryant returned to her roots and appeared at an anti-gay, anti atheist, and anti muslim event sponsored by “Reclaiming America For Christ”

So.  Now that Nancy knows.  Lets call on her to apologize for her ignorant and possibly anti-gay and hateful remark.

You can call the Nancy Grace Show and leave a message at 1-877-626-2901 or submit a Question or Comment at the links provided.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a pie to bake.

 

Marie Osmond Poses with Anita Bryant – Paper Roses and Arsenic & Old Lace

The good died young and it seems that Anita Bryant will live forever.

Marie Osmond the mother of a lesbian daughter and a a professed equality ally posed for a picture of famed anti-gay spokesbitch Anita Bryant after a recent concert.  Bryant is the original singer of the song “paper Roses” which Marie made famous and destroyed the countless lives of gay men and lesbians in the 1970’s with her crusade of hate.

Now I like Marie Osmond.  But to those of you who say “Cut her some slack.  It was a professional courtesy what was she supposed to do?”  

Back in the day when some stars had integrity.  Charlie Chaplin was at a party at the beginning of World War II with a famous German director who was a loyalist of Adolph Hitler.  When the famous director offered to shake Chaplin s hand Chaplin refused and said “I don’t shake hands with Nazis.” and walked away.

Now THAT was a celebrity!

Bryant by the way has never apologized for her anti-gay crusade.

 

Marie Osmond Anita bryant Large

 

Today In Gay History October 14: National March on Washington, GMHC, and Anita Bryant Gets Pied

National March on Washington 1979

1930: 21-year-old Ethel Merman makes a name for herself after belting out I’ve Got Rhythm in the Broadway musical Girl Crazy.

1977: In one of the most iconic visual moments in LGBT history “Christian” anti-gay bigot Anita Bryant gets a pie thrown in her face.

After leading a successful, hate fueled campaign to revoke Miami’s anti-discrimination ordinance earlier that summer ex-beauty queen, singer, Florida orange juice shill and anti-gay activist Anita Bryant and her husband, Bob Green, took their show on the road to repeal other local anti-discrimination ordinances in St. Paul, MN.

Bryant said:

“What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life. I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before.  As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children” and “If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters. All America and all the world will hear what the people have said, and with God’s continued help we will prevail in our fight to repeal similar laws throughout the nation.

Thom Higgins of Minneapolis wasn’t going to stand for it and caught up with Bryant and her husband at a press conference in Des Moines. Iowa.  It was about at that point, with television cameras rolling, Higgins threw a pie directly into her face. Stunned at first, Bryant tried to make light of it by saying “At least it was a fruit pie.” At Green’s suggestion, Bryant began praying for God to forgive the activist’s “deviant lifestyle” before bursting into tears. Green urged that no one retaliate against Higgins, but later in the parking lot Green caught up with the protesters and threw a reserve banana cream pie at them.

After the “pieing incident” the Florida orange juice had become more prominent and it was supported by many celebrities including Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Paul Williams, John Waters, Carroll O’Connor, Mary Tyler Moore and Jane Fonda.

The fallout from the gay community and it’s supporters ruined Bryant. Her contract with the Florida Citrus Commission was allowed to lapse in 1979 because of the controversy, her marriage to her first husband Bob Green failed , and in 1980 she divorced him, citing emotional abusiveness and latent suicidal thoughts. Even the fundamentalist audiences and venues shunned her after her divorce as she was no longer invited to appear at their events and she lost another major source of income. With her four children, Bryant moved from Miami to Selma, Alabama, and later to Atlanta, Georgia where she still lives today.

In June of 2010 smelling the money that the anti-gay groups of today make and pay Bryant returned to her roots and appeared at an anti-gay, anti atheist, and anti muslim event sponsored by “Reclaiming America For Christ”

Lifetime gay activist Thom Higgins passed away on November 10, 1994, in St. Paul, Minnesota a true gay hero of that era.

1979: The first National March on Washington for Gay & Lesbian Rights was held.  An estimated  125,000+ gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation.  Speakers at  the main rally included Harry Britt, Charlotte Bunch, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, Flo Kennedy, Morris Kight, Audre Lorde, Leonard Matlovich, andFirst PFLAG President Adele Starr.

The closing paragraph of the welcome program of the march, written by Allen Young (writer).

“Today in the capital of America, we are all here, the almost liberated and the slightly repressed; the butch, the femme and everything in-between; the androgynous; the monogamous and the promiscuous; the masturbators and the fellators and the tribadists; men in dresses and women in neckties; those who bite and those who cuddle; celebates[sic] and pederasts; diesel dykes and nelly queens; amazons and size queens, Yellow, Black, Brown, White, and Red; the shorthaired and the long, the fat and the thin; the nude and the prude; the beauties and the beasts; the studs and the duds; the communes, the couples, and the singles; pubescents and the octogenarians. Yes, we are all here! We are everywhere! Welcome to the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights!”

1987:  The US Congress voted in favor of banning federal funding for AIDS education organizations that “promote homosexuality.”  Under the Reagan administration (No shock there). The U.S. Senate voted 94-2 on an an amendment proposed by Sen. Jesse Helms to restrict federal funds for AIDS education to materials stressing sexual abstinence and which did not “promote homosexuality.” Citing comic books produced by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York — material that had not been paid for by federal funds — Helms complained, “If the American people saw these books, they would be on the verge of revolt.” He claimed the books showed “graphic detail of a sexual encounter between two homosexual men. The comic books do not encourage a change in that perverted behavior. In fact, the comic books promote sodomy.” 

1990: Leonard Bernstein dies at the age of 72.

1996:  Madonna gives birth to her first child, Lourdes Ciccone Leon.  The father, Carlos Leon, a personal trainer, is eight years younger than Madonna.

1999: California state Senator Pete Knight, who sponsored a ballot initiative banning same sex marriages in California, is denounced in the Los Angeles Times by his gay son. He questioned his father’s defense of family values because his father rejected him when he came out.

2006: Gerry Studds , dies in Boston, at age 69, several days after suffering a pulmonary embolism. Studds was the first openly gay member of Congress.  Studds was re-elected to the House more than 8 times and fought for many issues, including environmental and maritime issues, same-sex marriageAIDS funding, and civil rights, particularly for gays and lesbians.

Although Gerry Studds and partner Dean T. Hara (his companion since 1991) were married in Boston on May 24, 2004, one week after same-sex marriages became legal in Massachusetts. ue to the federal ban on same-sex marriage, Hara was not eligible, upon Studds’ death, to receive the pension provided to surviving spouses of former members of Congress. Hara later joined a federal lawsuit, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, that successfully challenged the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.