« Slow Burn

One Year: Anita Bryant's War on Gay Rights

2021-07-09

Slate's new podcast One Year and will introduce you to people and ideas that changed American history--one year at a time. The show is hosted by Josh Levin, Slate's national editor and host of Slow Burn Season 4. And our first season covers 1977: a year when gay rights hung in the balance, Roots dominated the airwaves, and Jesus appeared on a tortilla.

In this show, we’ll focus on key moments that transformed politics, culture, science, religion, and more. This episode you’re about to hear will take you into a courtroom in Miami, Florida, where a local fight over gay rights was about to become a huge national standoff, one with life-altering stakes for millions of Americans. And at the center of it all was a pop singer and orange juice spokesperson named Anita Bryant.

How does the nation’s past shape our present? Subscribe to One Year on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey, slow burn listeners, I'm Josh, Levine Slates, National editor and the host of season for of the show about why supremacist David Duke and his rise to power in Louisiana. I am here you about my new podcast with sleep, it's called one year no introduce you to people and ideas that changed american history one year at a time. He's in one, is about nineteen, seventy seven and we're going to. You stories that you might have forgotten about and some you I have never heard before one of the thing, I love about slow burn that it makes you think about how the nations past shapes our present on one year will focus on the moments that transformed politics, culture, sports, religion and more the episode you're about to here will take you to Miami Florida where a local fire. Over Gay rights became a huge national stand off. when they had enormous implications in nineteen seventy seven and that still reverberates today
at the centre of it all was a pop singer and Orange JUICE spokeswoman named Anita Bryant, thanks for checking it out, and if you like what you hear scribe to one year from sleep on any podcast up to the time. Nobody in Miami care to watch the Dade County Commission go about its business, but the public ring on January eighteenth, nineteen, seventy seven that was different, it was impossible to get a seat were hordes of People waiting to get you to the building. Ruth Shack was on the date counting commission, those hordes of people they travelled from all over South Florida, unsure church buses because they were angry about a bill she'd sponsored by had I not my stomach as a real fear of what was coming the bill at issue was an amendment to date, counties nondiscrimination ordinance. If it passed it would
shore up gay rights in Miami, though in ITALY it'd way. Homosexual acts will remain illegal art by law. This ordinance merely says that there shall be no discrimination. In so far as housing, accommodation and jobs are concerned by persons who have homosexual preferences, There were tv cameras in the hearing room, but the full meeting got taped more primitively on addictive phone voice. Recorder, sound quality, isn't rain. But I want you to hear some of it anyway, because you can really feel that We have the church, groups were wound and they brought placards dont legislate, immorality protect our children, God says now, but the bill supporters did not back down
bisexual psychologist testified about all the benefits that would come from scaling back system. It all homophobia. An activist may Bob Kunst also spoke up that day. He says that he two was focused on the community's mental health. We weren't there asking anybody. doors are wrong. Lovemaking, it's none of your business. At the public hearing Constance that all he wanted was an acknowledgement that gay people were human beings. We are your children. He said You got now gain anything by boy countries. Thirty four, that any new first hand how discrimination could up and lives in the mid. Seventy
he'd, worked and promotions for a Miami soccer team he'd like the job and it had seemed secure until people in management saw brochure for a gay conference on his desk and then immediately fired me right the spot. This was just typical of the hysteria at that particular time. An ordinance like this one would have shielded and other game. I ambience from getting punished for being themselves the bills. Opponents didn't believe that gay people needed protections in the workplace, the housing market and public accommodations. They actually thought the opposite the dead county needed protection from gave a Baptist pastor read from chapter one of Romans about
men committing indecent acts with other men and getting punished by God and then near the end of the hearing. The days biggest star approached the microphone Benita Bryant was a beauty queen, a pop star in folks woman for Florida Orange juice. She was a kind of celebrity that doesn't really exist anymore. A singer and variety performer was essentially famous for being a square, someone you might see, had lining at a county fair, Bryant had always been enthusiastic about sharing her christian views. but you didn't think of yourself as political. She was thirty six years old and when she stood up at the public hearing, she said she was speaking as a wife. Other she told the commissioners, the gay people weren't the one suffering that she and other Christians were the real victims in this You can hear her voice, tremble with emotion. It's a lot clearer,
the other soundbites from that day because at random, local news. I believe I have that right. But I can and do say no to a very serious moral issue. That would violate my rights and the rights of all the decent. Morally standing citizens, regardless of their race or religion, when the public comments were over, The date county commissioners got called on one by one to announce their votes. The first commissioner, a Baptist minister, said he made his decision. Reading gods by the neck we also need a Bryant side was winning, but then suddenly everything ship there was one. Yes,
then another than to more after that, when Ruth Shack voted. Yes, it was all over. The date County Commission had made its choice. It was going to support They re really. Gay people in the room. This was a hard one victory. It stood up to bigotry and come out triumphant. With this amendment in place, they could live more freely and openly and feel safer at work and in their homes for Anita Bryant. The commission's vote was an outrage. The Bryant wasn't ready to give up that day she decided to fight back to lend her name and her voice to the Anti gay cause
decision would galvanise the American Gay Rights movement. It would also help create new brand of conservative activism. There would shift the country to the right back inside the hearing room, Ruth Shack thought about everything she had seen and heard, and what may be coming next. I felt I had one this battle we will lose the war. I Saddam's people out front and they were not going to. Let this happen, this is one year, I'm Josh living in this series. We're gonna tell you about the people and the struggle the cheapest single year in american history, one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven e one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven
because it was a year when the nations rule seemed on the verge of getting rewritten in politics, culture, sports, religion and so much else, change in America felt possible, but was far from assured. The new president, Jimmy Carter and vowed to train Form Washington, but it wasn't yet clear if he could deliver on that promise. The feminist movement was gaining strength and picking up fervent opposition roots launched an in conversation about the legacy of american slavery, It is an enormous backlash, and indeed County Florida, local fight over gay, it became a huge national standoff, one with life altering stakes for millions of Americans at the centre of it all
was a meter bright, I believe, or than ever before. There are evil force roundabout guy. If we take these rights away from one sector population whose rights do we take away next, you wasn't a private rode home. Don't tell me, I gotta shepherd boy. This episode of one year is brought to you by the relentless upon Gazprom. eight studios and century twenty one real estate, the relentless
Upon cast that looks at sales differently in its officially back for a brand new season Join Award winning host author, an entrepreneur, Kristen minds are for conversations with diverse business leaders about the surprising ways they deliver extraordinary experiences for their customers. Listen to learn how these leaders are embracing change during this unprecedented time and find out how their staying relentless season the relentless is out now listen in Subscribe Ever you get. Your pack casts. until one thousand nine hundred and seventy three, the American Psychiatric Association, classified homosexuality as a mental illness, but Bob comes to never felt like he had any of disorder. He known he was gay, since he was a kid in the nineteen fifties and he was certain that a sex Orientation hadn't been a choice constantly that sexual repression caused emotional repression in the seventies. He led workshops where naked,
dangers, men and women closed their eyes and touched each other, no sex, but sweating bullets, and penetration. Was you can't tell the difference between male and female pouch? You will need to take the risk and put up with all the crap. Why would You want to have this that relationship with any number of people that you wanted. Mammy was considered something of an oasis for gay Americans, a place that at least compared to the rest of the country was relative. We care free, but Florida sodomy laws were still on the books and Liberal Miami gay people knew their freedom had limits, people were dead, thing. Twenty first, we beach on the other the police were common rate bars. Every election did Tony known as Miami Dade, is one of three counties that altogether make up metropolitan Miami. It includes downtown Miami in Miami Beach. As of nineteen, seventy six, it was, perfectly legal and Dade County to fire someone because they were gay but then
was untrue everywhere in the United States to trade, Washington Dc Minneapolis in a bunch, more city, had all recently passed. Legislation that made gay people are protected. Group Kunst had been fired simply for having a pamphlet on, dusk thought it was time for Miami to join that list. He just needed to find a politician who felt the same way when other, little girls mortgage should be Shirley Temple at Forward five, I decided I won't be here long. Ruth Shack had to wait awhile to live out. Her political dreams. She got married and early twenties then stayed home to take care For three daughters is the girls. older. She became more active and progressive causes and an nineteen. Seventy six Thirty five year old chap ran for office for the first time I The woman on this stage with men in blue suits. So I found
a yellow, a bright yellow dress that became my uniform. Did you have more than one of those dresses, but you just like wash it every at that's a state secret, moving. While Ruth check one that race, for the Day County Commission, not long up she took office. A group of activists came to speak with her about gay rights. They told ACT that one small change to the county is nondiscrimination ordinance could make a huge difference. Dade county already barred discrimination based on race, religion and sex. All those activists wanted was to add for words to that existing list, affectional or sexual preference. Today. That terminology is considered offensive because it implies that homosexuality is,
choice, but in the nineteen seventies it was standard. Language adopted a non discrimination clauses in nearly forty cities when they described kitchen me. I said Andrea Woman- yes, I sponsored the men, because on television at night you would. Paddy wagons pull up to bars, hauling out man. invasion is suits. Tat made me no Ruth didn't think the amendment would take up much controversy. A few years earlier, when a similar ordnance had passed in Seattle, the Gay magazine, the advocate had celebrated the non event. It was
but my army would be different. Miami had Anita brain, I'm a native right has, as you can see where, in Florida Landless, in Russia, the orange juice that comes from the need. A brilliant and Bob Green lived with her for children. In a spanish stucco mansion on Biscayne Bay, it had a waterfall, a heart shaped double jacuzzi, and a replica of the Anita Bryant bust from the Oklahoma Hall of Fame I had been a star since the late nineteenth fiftys when she came in third and the America Pageant Amateur Brian in the talent, competition she sang when the boy is talk about the girls I nineteen sixty she had to top ten heads of her own.
paper roses and in my little corner of the World to my Brian carved out a cultural niche by standing Foursquare against the revolutions of the Sixtys and Seventys she threw her support behind the Vietnam WAR, calling it a fight between atheists, em and God when the doors Jim Morrison got arrested for exposing himself on stage Ryan headlined a rally for decency. A few weeks later, in eighteen. Seventy one she sang the battle him of the republic at half time of the super Ladies and gentlemen, one of the main architects. of Anita Brands. Career was her booking agent. Coincidentally enough, that agent was Ruth Shacks husband, richer check, p,
her on every one of these conventions. Every one of his special shows he we her. She come on same battle, him of the republic, and she made a very good living riots, most important. you was a hundred thousand dollars a year contract with the Florida Citrus Commission minded when one hampering minorities from floor at any time again, but more than anything else, it was Brian's tv ads for floored orange juice. The maid
National celebrity a day without orange juice is like a day without Son Orange juice, again from the sunshine in the seventies Brian also perform for free about this churches across the country. She said that for her, these evangelical duties would always come. First, Brian's oldest child Robert Green Junior thirteen years old in eighteen. Seventy seven when our parents went off doing shows they cause kids together before bed for family Devotions Robert declined to traditional back and forth interview for this podcast, but he did agree to Lord responses to questions I sent him over email. I started by asking what, He sought home that the public didn't see my had made a kneeling cushion on which He had transcribed in needlepoint leaves. Act. Words Billy Graham had spoken when he came to our house for dinner. Once we take
kneeling on Billy grams words too, thus our sins and ask forgiveness and give thanks for the cat and the dog and the parakeets, and all that Robert says that his mother didn't really keep up with current events. she heard about the gay rights ordinance at her Baptist Church, where her pastor urged her to speak out against it. Our pasture was counselling. Her encouraging her, in fact, to see herself as a profit in the mould of the biblical judge? Deborah who got had chosen to lead his people through a crisis Brian was alarmed by what her past her was telling her about the ordinance especial the idea that gate teachers might educate her own children. She got even more distressed when she learned that Ruth Shack, her agents, wife, had sponsored the Gay Rights amendment,
Ryan had given money the shacks political campaign and had even taped and add for her. Now she felt ashamed of that support and mortified that she had encouraged other Christians to vote for shack. Brian hoped, a personal appeal may change Ruth shacks mind and so she picked up the phone. She told me about how her God would to allow her to support this. She had to oppose it, and I said I'd gone is very different. That's not the God that I and we have very little to say after that, after that phone call right decided she had to speak out publicly and when the Date County Commission voted to protect gay people from discrimination, she refused to accept
in late January, nineteen, seventy seven Ryan called a meeting her mansion on Biscayne Bay, a dozen people came including leaders from the Baptist Catholic and orthodox jewish faith. The best way forward, they decided, was to launch a petition drive. They need ten thousand signatures to get a referendum on the ballot. At that point, the people of Dade County could vote to repeal the ordinance to allow employers and landlords to discriminate against gay people. Once again, Brian announced this plan at a press conference in February, but that event she stood in front of a big banner. It said: save our children from homosexuals, we'll be back in a minute. There is no better feeling that learning something new, which is why, check out one dream video in
YO streaming experiences created to blow our minds when, Graham thousands of ours of amazing stuff to watch. One thing will definitely want to check out. Is the document Denise. How becoming the sign it's about. An only gay Hong Kong singer in her. from music superstar to human rights activists. one rehab has so much more to from brands like the great courses, including programmes created in partnership with National Geographic, Smithsonian, history, the Colony Institute of America, and Trust me, your brain is going to love. This place. Sign up now our special url to get this great offer a fourteen day. Retrial of unlimited access go now wondering m dot com slash one year, that's double oh n, our! I! U am dotcom slash one year, wondering M dotcom Slash one year this
so it is brought to you by male champ as a host one of the most important things. I've had to figure out how to communicate with our audience there's a new show with a bunch of news stories somewhere figure things out. As we go along, from all of you is incredibly important to undergo and what we're doing right and how we can improve, and hopefully It's a great ideas about what we should cover next Belgium, customer journey builder Humpty stay ahead of what your customers made by next. It can even set, matic follow up emails based on their journey. Tell you close the deal with male champ get a whole lot more than a url, all in one marketing platform to help drive sales damage. You can your data to make more informed, smarter decisions, and you get powerful automation tools, the customer journey builder, to ensure you never miss an opportunity to turn shoppers and loyal customers. So, if you're ready
integrate your marketing stem cells. started today, had melted, dotcom, Flash Smart marketing, Melcher built for growing businesses. The fight against the county lawn gay rights moved some twenty day, gouty churches today, according to organizers of the group that want to voters to be able to guess ballots on the controversial issue. By early March Anita Brian and her group, save our children incorporated, had collected around sixty thousand signatures six times the amount required The Gay rights amendment would be on the ballot in June. Nineteen. Seventy seven- Everyone has a right to be a homosexual if the choice and that's exactly the problem is that we are saying that There are no human rights to corrupt our children.
First thing said she did was to me to be accused of so trying to recruit out of the high schools. Bob Kunst was part of an activist group called the deed County coalition for the humanistic rights of gays. That group had fought hard to get the anti discrimination law. Now they had a battle to save it. Here's can back in eighteen, seventy seven. What we are saying is that some of the most famous people in the world have engaged Plato, Socrates, Tchaikowski, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, the people who are already in the schools at their teaching, the less we can toned down about the anxiety of relating to same sex and, more than you know, people are able to cooperate with each other rather than being in confusion and always in a state of chaos. Dobkins became the public face of my enemies, gay rights movement. He was charismatic, eloquence and handsome, and he never back. There from a fight I've been confrontational. My life, I don't put up a crap from anybody, doesn't matter who the people who don't
It is not. My problem is their problem concept was considered a radical. He believed that all gay people should live their lives unapologetically just like heated. But a nineteen. Seventy seven that kind of bravado could be dangerous. putting you a greater risk of getting fired or physically attacked, and so some gay leaders preferred. A more restrained approach almost a boy avoiding over it signs of homosexuality, because they feel individual liberty and not just gay rights. Constanta was both moral and self defeating to make concessions to bigots. He said that those more cautious activists had one foot in the closet. The conflict between the uncompromising Kunst and is more pragmatic. Colleagues came to a head over orange juice. we simply said we're not gonna, buy her a product. This has nothing to do with whether we like orange juice or not. We like orange juice or, on the other hand,
here to take away our jobs. Constant, an orange juice boycott would be a show of force awaited, demonstrate. The gay community is political and economic power, the moderates and the date conical listen argued that gay people were in no position to make threats that they had to be sensible and conciliatory. The moderates one that argument the coalition would not endorse a boycott. That was it for Bob Kunst. He quit to start a new group which he called the Miami victory campaign. The activists he left behind were not impressed. They told the media that Kunst was on a per no ego trip. We are opening the door to the entire debate on human sexuality and meanwhile, The coalition was in a state of freak out, the closet cases went berserk the Date County coalition, was fracturing in other ways too. Lesbian feminists also abandon the group illegal by sexism and a male run operation on the antigay right side, Anita Brian save.
Children was totally united, brought together by a shared discussed for homosexuality and for gay man in particular,. Pulling showed the most women voters and dead canny supported gay rights, at least in theory. Save our children did everything it could to in their minds. The orange Wolverine Siamese give to the nation also entertain San Francisco when they take to the streets. It's a parade of homosexuals. men hugging other men cavorting with little boys, the message of that television and was very clear. The gay man preyed on children save our children's print campaigns were even more explicit on mother's day nineteen. Seventy seven the group ran and add that sprawled over most of a page in the Miami Harold. It described, hair, raising pattern of sexual perverts molesting kid,
global warning was a collage of newspaper headlines. Homosexuals used scout troop. Senate shown Movie Child porn teacher accused of sex acts with boys, students anything to panic pair and to make them think that homosexual teachers would seduce their kids Lillian fishermen. As the author of the book, the gay revolution as Anita Brian tipped, saying homosexuals can't reach. do so. They have to recruit and they're, going to recruit your children into homosexuality by them in seventeen is. There was a of scientific research. The gay men were in no way predisposed having sexual interest and children. Nevertheless, media reports about gay predators were everywhere in it
seventy seven spreading the lie that homosexuality and pedophilia were inherently connected for Anita Bryant and save our children. Those inflammatory headlines were the father. They needed to claim that day. Teachers were a threat, Brian wasn't just making that argument in public. Here again is her son Robber, Green Jack at the time. I was shy, anxious awkward, kid I was all too aware that I'd never fit the masculine Malta, my dad, but I secretly craved, understanding and acceptance for what I was on or whatever. It would turn out to be Robert, had an english teacher that he really loved when his mom picked them up at school. One day she had a pleasant chat with that teacher who robber refers to as Mr Alder a pseudonym and then after they drove away Anita Bryant TK, Mr Mulder, a feminist. I didn't yet know what my mom meant by a feminine but the waste
said it made me want to defend. Mr Alder, though, the only thing I can think to say was: he is not Anyway, by the time we got home, I'd found out what she meant that a feminist in men and boys was a com. Sign of homosexuality. Oh and the sickness was one you could catch. If you got to close to someone else, Having heard her out, I went on liking and respecting Mr Alder quietly and he went on seeing me through a rocky time. It wasn't one for my parents pulled me in my siblings how to that school and play. This down in the presumably gave free school run by our fundamentalist church. I never did see. Mr Aldo again, maybe it was just as well, After all the public condemnation my parents had begun heaping on the lives of people who may have
Clearly, Mr Mulder, I don't think I could have faced him when she talked to the press. Anita Brian insisted that she wasn't any kind they get. She said TAT. Her antigay crusade was motivated by christian compassion, I love the labour enough to tell him true, because I know that there is hope for the homosexuals that, if they are willing to turn from said the same as any individual that they can be ex homosexuals the same there can be an Ex Werner next day, for example, by the truth was Brian's. Talking points were heedful and extreme. She said that the date county ordinance would protect the right to have intercourse with beasts. She said that if her children
exposed to homosexuality, I might as well feed them garbage the save our children Prescott with even more horrifying one document had the time Oh, why certain sexual deviations are punishable by death. In the eight year, since the uprising in New York City Stone Wall in the United States hosted its first pride marches and states from California to Connecticut repealed their sodomy laws. But by the mid seventies there was a sense, an activist circles that the movement was slowing down and the Gay Americans had become politically apathetic. Anita Brian's outrageous rhetoric made everyone take notice. The vote in Miami became something like a national referendum on homosexuality. The advocate told it sixty thousand subscribers that if Bryant one in Florida, her hate crusade, It would soon be at every gay Americans front door
historian Lillian fishermen I left would era coffers. said about how movements can exist very well without a god, but they can't exist at all without a double the need. A Bryant became the devil of the gay rights, movement, and I think that really help the movement organize and pull together. There were dead county fundraiser and gay communities nationwide a stop. I need a disco, dance in New York and Orange Ball and Chicago a beat Anita Thorn in Cleveland A bar in San Francisco held an Anita Bryant, look alike, contest open to men, women and anyone in between one of the judges was Harvey melt. Later that year would become California's first openly, Gay elected official, the Orange juice point above constant push for
ended up taking off and getting immortalized and saw my rod Mchugh. Don't you not only to cancer gay bars replaced screwdrivers with a needle Brian's vodka and apple juice, a group The gay guerrillas took a puncture ring orange juice cartons in New York, supermarkets. There were shirts buttons and bumper stickers. That said, Anita sucks oranges, in February nineteen, seventy seven, a planned and seventy a brain. Tv show, got called off because of her controversial political activities. Just ass. She had a that public hearing Brian portrayed yourself as a victim. She said that the cancellation had destroyed a dream that she'd had since she was a child, but Brian vat
as on no matter what the save our children campaign intensified, Ryan hosted a meeting in the courtyard of her home with food, the chairs facing a movie screen her thirteen year old Son Robert, wasn't supposed to watch, but he's not out of his bedroom to see what was going cast on the screen from a slide projector was one grainy, black and white photo after another showing a man with a man, a boy with a boy, a man with a boy naked or mostly doing things with or to each other that I couldn't understand a guy. I took to be a police detective, was talking into the microphone describing cases in evidence. I think, while advancing the slides, I guess mom and dad figured that by inviting these people over and showing them. What I saw in connecting
images with the prospect of gay teachers recruiting boys to take part in such acts. They could sickened or scare the audience into doing anything to repeal Let's take a quick, Rick. Stories about missing persons, occasionally sharp on the nightly news, but at the time they go unreported an unsolved the vanished. Asked from wondering his chin. the way we look at these cases better. Stories of missing persons the go overlooked by the media. So what's the vanished apart Stu, Marisa Jones, doesn't sensationalize or explain. She gets the story from the friends
family of the missing persons and put you in their shoes when there is a once just help, families find their vanished left once we get a sense of peace in Europe,. In three parts series. She investigated the case of in echo's. He disappeared in the ass the mountains on a hunting trip, but what guy covered was much stranger more dangerous than anyone could have anticipated into new episodes of the vanished on Apple pie casts Amazon. Music Rican was an ad free by joining, wondering plus in the wonder, YAP wondering feel the story. As the referendum drew closer Dade counties. Gay activists got some help from New York City in other Brock's alphabet. Thakane fuckin be fuckin, safe, That's a deep and get out. He was thirty, three years old in eighteen, seventy, seven and one of the few openly
a campaign managers and the United States to revive the town, the gay people already of politics at that point, but they were the closet they wouldn't ever take on this kind of a campaign. So I felt an obligation, gotta go to Miami is just a few months before election day. He learn very quickly how meaningful the date county fight was for gay people all over America. I would get one I've looked like this after another just a day. Honey, gay committee or whatever it is written on some rudimentary stationary with twenty three dollars age in it said. Dear date, county gay people we're very isolated here in our community. In Oklahoma we gotta there's one bar is the only case gathering place Only one night, a weaken. We try to keep it hidden.
We don't have much money, but we took up a collection. Are we? sending you everything we could spare, but I got hundreds of other groups of letters like that. And you could see the was suffering. They was so hopeful that we would do something it would somehow would change things. You know, on the ground in Miami the life or death. Stakes of the referenda were terrifyingly clear. One of ghettos, colleagues had a shotgun aimed at add by an attacker who threatened to blow his brains out in the spring nineteen, seventy seven, the coalition's headquarters got attacked, thus overthrow Molotov cocktails through the window blue
at a desk. Grey was, and I got in I couldn't hear for today's. It was scary. There was a flash big noise if it had been something or more professional dead, Ruth Shack, who'd sponsored the carrots amendment was besieged with menacing phone calls and, worse, I will never forget, going to sack Shrift Avenue going into a dressing room, Try something on have woman. Follow me into the dressing room, Pusher and all my chest push me against the wall at spit. In my face, obviously I haven't gotten over yet the harassment and abuse were particularly intense and my enemies. Cuban american community Jesse Monti, Gerda was a leader in the gay activist group, Latinos Proto wretches, whom on us Latinos for human rights Why don't I like? The way you talk show, and then we will call was ever was
see thy messages, there was very often one color so that all gay people should be deported another. So they should be put to death. Montenegro's friend, her brahmins heard all those messages. Two days after that broadcast from us died by suicide. Montenegro says that Ramos suffer from depression that he can't be certain Those radio colors are what pushed his friend over the edge and other activists. Rinaldo Gomes was much less circumspect. Gomes called her promise. The first victim of the Unita Brian Crusade shortly after Gomes, started to speak someone's had his car on fire. Thirty four year old admitted homosexual and cuban gay rights activists Manual Gomes, who was laid model car was firebomb last month. Amid all this violence even get a was trying to pull together a winning strategy. First, he commission to serve
which showed that the majority of Dade County voters did support human rights for gaze. At the same time, those voters didn't exactly approve of homosexuality. Lillian fishermen, they think even liberals assumed that homosexuality should be always they love. They dared not speak its name. In Miami and Oliver America, the Madrid Eddie View in eighteen. Seventy seven with the gay people engage sex acts were extremely distasteful. Given that ghetto decided to focus the campaign on abstract big picture concepts like John, justice and equality one of his ad should a hammer chipping away at the bill of rights they, really decided that they would downplay the whole gay issue, which was a terrible mistake. They didn't answer the huge attack, somehow gay people with corrupt children, they base
I would have wanted to bury all of that and pretend that this was not an attack on gay people, the bill of rights, but did look pretty tepid. Alongside save our children's child, molester ads but ghetto says he didn't want to dignify that smear with a response. Those things are traps. You dont want to give these stories legs. You want to try to change, the dialogue, change, the language changed, the focus and the thinking to other things get who does acknowledge, making one big mistake. His coalition was arguing. The gay people deserve to be protected from discrimination. The problem was, they didn't highlight actual cases where a gay people had been discriminated against. I
to put it ahead. Indebted counties that said you know I live with this man or this woman for forty two years we took care of each other, we love each other, we sacrifice with each other and when he died the family. Wouldn't let me come to the funeral, they wouldn't. Let me have what photographs this. What we gotta do you gotta put a human face on this right around the time. Ethan Ghetto got to Miami Bob Kunst was breaking away to start his own activist group, constant, think much of ghetto or his campaign terrible terrible Clueless it was so stupid and such a terrible waste of money and they kept on repeat that was the worst part of it all their ads were just the same drew.
all going after the same seem completely ignoring reality. What are you gonna? Do the ghetto and constant approaches differed in style as well as substance when the governor of Florida came out in support of Anita Bryant Ghetto, put together a carefully worded reply about human rights, Kunst called the governor the sexually and secure lame duck. He was very short. Ex are casting hostile, mocking. I read about sexual have come out of take not a Gulf war. It I talk to people about it, but we try to win a Jordi vote on election day in a ballot, and this is not the way at this point in time that you reach people. That's the way you Ellen ate them save our children's goal in the spring of eighteen, seventy seven to expand its coalition, Anita Bryant waved in israeli flag at a rally for Soviet Jews,
and spoken a gathering in Miami Little Havana, the cuban people left one enemy to come to a free country. She said they would be. my heart if Miami became another Saddam and Gomorrah, and you would have to leave a prejudice against People is pretty diverse across raised enough groups in our society. Levels happening in Miami reflect above was happening at that moment in America, Marvin done as the throw black Miami in the twentieth century. In the nineteen seventies, he believed that people like him a straight line man had an obligation to speak up for gay people, just as black Americans needed as many groups as possible to advocate for them. But in nineteen. Seventy seven done didn't see that argument catching on the general view. the devil among by people. Was that gay people choose to be gay? It was as if this is in our group that chooses to be traded, the way that they are being treated even get. had very little time to mount a campaign
not nearly enough. He thought to change people's minds and so the Listen, basically, rode off the cuban and black foots choosing to invest its resources elsewhere and Bob Kunst. He was unwilling to concede any. And may nineteen seventy seven. He went to speak to a group of black leaders by the end of that meeting Those leaders were shouting at conscript to leave Bob caused loved Bob counts, and if saw him perform. You could know that he liked himself He knew how to use his voice. He knew how to use his intelligence to make the case, and it was very difficult to dismiss them because Bob and just walk away. He stayed in your face. I stated my case and this is what is going on. Take it or leave it. Give us our constitutional rights of yours. I can confirm that Bob constitutes a strong personality
I started our interview by asking him to say his name even talked for twenty five minutes. Without stopping pausing only to ask if I was still on the line. So, yes, he can be allowed to take but in nineteen seventy seven he wasn't saying anything unreasonable the point he was making the to fight for gay lives. Those I need to be lived out in the open is hard to argue with Bob Kunst offered the loudest clearest contrast to Anita Brian newsmagazine covers reported pieces and the national papers features on the network news. They all frame the gay rights referendum as Anita Verses Bob
Singing orange juice advocate a mood of DR says: God has put a burden on her heart to crusade against the ordinance. The gay leader who has rocketed international publicity by responding to Bryant Bob Currents, became active in national issues while still in high school from the media's perspective, concept and Brian were perfect coils, versus unabashedly gauge you in a self declared Paragon of christian womanhood, constant least appreciated the pairing in the law run. He thought. Brian extremism was a good thing that it would help build support for the gay rights cause, I think that she is doing more for the gay community and war for the humanist movement than anybody else on this planet. I support everything that she's doing. I would like to see or have as much exposure is possible. I think that Does. She is rolling the community together, like I have never seen before. There's no way, I could have done it on my arm. In the last days
the referendum Bryant encouraged debated each other in Miami coercion, club in our campaign. We talk about the danger of the homosexual, becoming a role model too hard to your. asking Anita for the right to discriminate. They reach given twelve minutes to speak Brian spent half of her Belting out the battle him of their public Kunst for once to know what to say properly over I am not sure whether that would open up a whole whether different chapter in my life will be back in a minute
tomorrow day. Voters will make the decision that will either keep the gay rights ordinance or reveal it. A controversial law has been other books for over four months. Voting at this precinct has been busy all day. People are not spending very long inside the bug consent. He was certain tat, the Jews seventh referendum, would break his way and are going to vote against bigotry and hatred. Against hypocrisy and intolerance against second class citizenship or anyone we are going to win. He was wrong. Sixty percent of voters cast ballots to repeal the anti discrimination ordinance. Gay rights had gotten trounced. Indeed, county the road again she was within the cuban community, the blacks middle class white, blue collar precinct. An upper middle class areas helped building warnings by more than two to one
four Anita Brian allotted changed in five months. but that public hearing in January nineteen, seventy seven she felt outraged and defeated. In June she was exultant when she was a winner tonight. The laws, and the cultural values of man have been vindicated the people of day county The normal majority have said enough enough enough when it was all over, green leaned to kiss his wife sexual Duval as it was. runaway painful, even get him. I thought we were a little better and it's you showed me what a steep that we had to climb when Ruth Shack got up to speak at night,
tried to sound hopeful. There is love, and there is understanding in this room that just won't quit, and I'm very, very proud to be a part of what we're doing tonight, hurt I was so angry and Bob concept. He says that he never saw that nineteen. Seventy seven loss as a real defeat. We were going for it an emotional and sexual liberation We said that night they could mark you're calendar your watch does my Christmas with chronic we're coming back. And the night county referenda, gay people in San Francisco took to the streets. Breast spontaneous demonstrate.
It must be hundreds and hundreds of people here I have taken our blocks. Blocks of the Castro area. Why did you come here tonight. I think we have to get off start showing strange right now, because its me too late makes you scared nothing so out of fear in it. For me you here tonight, because I'm a lesbian women, because I tell that the bill of rights have been wadded up and itchy piece of paper and brown to the trashcan, whoever and it'll Brian tears and whatever she's doing in the name of God, she's crouching human beings, freedom
There would be more demonstrations in New York, LOS Angeles, Chicago Boston, Denver, Houston New Orleans I have been a good amount of resistance to Anita Bryant before the repeal them, but this was something altogether different. Lillian Phaedr man sees them. June nineteen. Seventy seven protests as a turning point in american history. I think, before day counts de most gays and lesbians did not want to be political. Dade county woke us up, county made us realise that we all had to be politically. We all had to learn to fight homophobia. Then I think that that really solidified the gay rights movement, the fighting County solidified, the Anti gay rights movement to what Anita Brian,
called a normal majority would become a powerful voting block. Christian conservatives would help elect Ronald Reagan in eighteen. Eighty, and remained a force in american politics. Long after he left the White House. After her big win in Miami Riot hit the road to spread the save our children gospel. I need a bright wasted. No time today, she left word of honor way to what was all the new Christian in Norfolk Junior. He has said no matter what it costs are personally going nationwide with our Annie Gay Rights campaign. Our children's winning streak would carry into eighteen. Seventy eight in Saint Paul Minnesota Wichita Kansas, in Eugene Oregon voter repealed ordinances, just like the one in the county, wherever I need a brain when she got hailed as a hero, but in those same places she also got jeered and shouted The reason the country at a press conference in deploying Iowa when she talked about all the opposition. Had she been paid and went into a place called offer Virginia and were met
protest and all kinds of problems and then out of nor a man. the state with a pie telling this house they won't leave. It is approved by let's break through him right now needed, let's break Anita Brian cry I ran down her face were to be delivered from his do lifestyle lives. Twelve, I united Brian career, as a secular entertainer, was basically over Ruth Shacks husband, Brian's booking Asia dropped her as a clan saying that she was exploiting her vicious hate filled campaign for professional gain the Florida Citrus Commission would stop running her orange juice commercials. A pole of eight hundred high school students in Bryant and it all
Hitler is the famous woman and famous man who done the most damage to the world rain. Had and she was willing to sacrifice our livelihoods to advocate for what she believed. In the woods did lose our career and see it as a natural consequence of her actions. Instead, she complained that she was being blacklisted or being threatened, then is all kinds of her but I still know that guy's going take care of us are not afraid, we're not afraid the New York Times took up for Brian writing in an editorial that she had the right to express her views, but for most gay Americans, Ryan's decline and fall didn't present any kind of moral quandary. Two weeks after the vote in Miami a gay man named Robert Hillsboro was stabbed to death and San Francisco, witness said that one of the men who killed him was shouting TAT, gay slurs, Hillsboro.
the file to five million dollars civil rights. Soon naming and meet O Brien as a defendant that suit alleged that her sons, attackers had yelled out something else too. Here's one for Anita Brian would get dropped from the lawsuit. The California judge said that his court had no jurisdiction over a floor defended, but the words of Robert Hillsboro mother wouldn't be so easy to forget. My son's blood, MRS Hillsboro said, is on her hands. The tide would turn again save our children in California. In nineteen. Seventy eight voter statewide rejected an initiative to ban gay people from working in public schools. That victory was made possible in large part because of lessons learned, Indade County
the human faces that had been showcase than the Miami campaign? Those were front in centre in California, and while they were still disagreements, all of those different voices of radicals and moderates and lesbians and gay men added up to us, thing. Bigger in what's become known, as is hope, speech. Harvey milk said that indeed Brian indeed, county had started to come. station that American needed to have you have dialogue, starting milk said you know you can break down prejudice. a year after the dead county referendum, Bodkins launched its own petition drive to get gave, its back on the ballot. In my time we also will be on an offensive level instead of on the defensive basis, which will form a campaign because we're going to be talking about lifestyle, not apologizing for then encompassing it in terms of human rights. The amendment lost again, though this time the vote was closer to decades. After that and ninety nine
The aim in the County Commission voted once again to ban discrimination against gay people, and this time the last date in place. Bob Kunst doesn't think he gets enough credit for the work you did in the seventies. He spent a good chunk of our interview talking about how much he hates the modern algae Bt Q movement We gave on one victory after another. Mistake be winners. It's not my problem, though. What am I supposed to do? Go crazy. Khazar losers In recent years, Constance Rally I download trump. He took to carrying a gaze for Trump sign and other that said, Hilary for present Anita Bryant divorced, her husband, Bob Green in nineteen eighty she told her reporter that she'd been used and abused, and then she contemplated suicide.
The answer is, don't seem quite so simple now Brion said I guess I can better understand the gaze and the feminists, anger and frustration if she did have a true change of heart at dinner asked in ninety ninety two. She said people hated me because I spoke the truth we reached out to NATO. I ain't, but she declined our interview request she's aid. One years old. Now living where she grew up in Oklahoma, her son Robert is in his late fifties and he has a family of his own, a wife and two children. I'm Sarah Fair green and Anita brands. My grandma, my dad's mom sorrows her grandmother doated on her. When she was small and a very o Brien way. I always knew she was like us
in Europe we have. I was really let all she used to bring me. I'm stage too. Like thing, Jesus loves me and staff by middle school. Sarah had started to hear about Bryant as a historical figure. The womanhood fought against gay rights. the nineteen seventies. I didn't really think very hard about because that explanation, Parents always gave was mean she doesn't personally hey gay people as people and she was my grandma and she was always very loving towards me, and so that was a very easy explanation. Ah m. Until I kind of four ized later in in high school idle and then in college that I myself was gay Sarah had no intention of coming out to her grandmother. But then they spoke on her twenty first but she's, a big happy birthday phone call type cause she likes to very dramatically sing. It We were talking and she was talking about how lake I have
the right man who had come along and judges we're not talking about the right me I'm coming along and- and I just snapped and was like aid Betty having come along cause? I'm gay- and I know why to come along ends he sidewise like, I know that you think that this is where you are, but it is ends because homosexuality isn't real. All it doesn't exist, annex a delusion invented by the evil One and is what she said: the devil to lead peoples. from Guide and that, if I were to truly like focus my life on God and faith that I would kind of combat myself, and come to the realisation that actually street her to argue with someone who thinks that, like us, integra heart of your identity is just evil delusion Sheila
the relationship with a person who doesn't it because I'm not the person she wants me to be an I'm not gonna have a relationship with somebody who can only have one like on their terms rubber, Green Junior since the last time he saw his mother, was half a year ago at a family wedding. After the ceremony, my wife and I were talking with her at the back of the church catching up on. Emily news, when we mentioned heard that Sarah had just gotten engaged to another woman, my mom's face froze all at once. Her eyes widened her smile opened. And out came the oddest sound o o, instead of taking Sarah, she is my mom, has chosen to pray that Sarah will eventually conform to my mom's idea of what God wants there to be
partner and I've talked a lot about whether we want to invite her to our wedding. I think probably, will eventually just call her and ask if she even wants an invitation, because I genuinely do now how she would respond, I don't know she would be If I didn't invite her age, Really genuinely downtown issue will cover non. I guess I'll. Just Santa don't hate my grandma! I just can't. However, I think as much as she hoped then I will figure things out and come back to God. I kind of potential figure things out If you're interested in hearing more about the legacy of Anita Bright and the gay activists who fought to stop her wanna check out an episode were releasing tomorrow features.
conversation between one year's assistant, producer, Madeline, do Sharm and our slate colleague June Thomas You also get to hear about the making of our series on one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven and get a preview of what else were covering this season. That episode is exclusively for sleep, members to listen to that show and other members only episodes sign up. Firstly, plus sleigh dot com slash one year, You'll get to listen to all sleep, podcast ad free will be supporting the work we do here at one here that fleet dot com Flash one year, plus next time on one year. Nineteen, seventy seven Jimmy Carter, had the most liberal marijuana policies of any president in history, but a Christmas party changed everything that whole evening, which trouble it was perks.
Waiting with trouble from the moment we all arrived in DC. You can smelling. One year is produced by me and have been charged with The toil direction by low in lieu and Gabriel Madeleine do Sharm is one year's assistant produce. You can see feedback and ideas and memories. For me, Jeanne, seventy seven one year athlete icon, we'd love to hear from you. Are mixed. Engineer is marriage, the army for one year, by Jim Cook. Thank you to hunt oh he needed, and the Stone Wall, National Museum and Archives Miami Data just loves and archives, demand, they county clerk of Courts and the union, the Miami special collections and special thanks to Fred features. Ryan MC, not melody more head
Benjamin Fresh Jordan, Hirsch Jarrett holds Derek John Lord lobbying Felicia Montgomery June Thomas Jack Hamilton Christmas, lengthy, Derek Johnson, Natalie, Matthies Sancho Kitty referred Asha Solygia, Amber Psmith, sat brown region Strong and child too thanks for listening, with more from eighteen. Seventy seven next week.
Transcript generated on 2021-08-05.