At least a few of the commenters get it, but really, Tennessee
In light of this week's historic decision finding that the 30 year old bigoted Florida law -- barring gays and lesbians from adopting children -- is unconstitutional (duh), it seems like a good time to recall the Florida Sunshine Girl.
Anita Bryant's legendary homophobic campaign ruined her career and inspired gay rights activists across the nation to work that much harder for justice. Unfortunately, Anita Bryant was just a clueless pawn, a young and naive woman who was conned by the Church Fathers to use her celebrity status for their bigoted cause.
The Florida Sunshine Girl lost her popularity, her career, and her marriage. The Church Fathers lost nothing.
As palinpumawatch acidly notes,
Anita Bryant was born in 1940 and started her anti-homosexuality crusade in 1977. I find it hard to buy a 37-year-old woman as a vulnerable girl-child — particularly when said woman was not plucked from obscurity but already had some experience with fame.
On the bright side, she now seems to have her very own ministry, does Bryant. You GO, sisterrrr!! Throw off those shackles of your oppressive Church Fathers! You SEIZE those tools in your very own paws! Grrrr!! Pounce!...
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me"
Oh lookie here, she has lots of pics of her glory days, past and present, as befits a comeback star. Press clippings, recent ones, too. Here's one by another woman--you see? conservative feminism at its finest! one woman supporting another! One Janet Folger, to be precise, says:
Last weekend I met a true hero. A woman I have long admired for a stand that cost her everything. In fact, I dedicated my book, "The Criminalization of Christianity," to her. The inscription reads:
"To all those with courage to speak the truth in the face of ridicule, blame, assault, censorship, and the threat of being criminalized: Including Anita Bryant …"
At a meeting of national leaders in New Orleans this weekend, Anita Bryant received an award and a standing ovation that lasted nearly 10 minutes. I clapped until my hands hurt.
A friend of mine who heard about the highlight of my weekend asked, "Who is Anita Bryant?" He said he had only heard me talk about Phyllis Schlafly with "such superlatives."
This beauty queen and orange juice spokeswoman was known for saying "a day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine." She had her own television show at the age of 12. She had a successful singing career and entertained the troops with Bob Hope. And when a candidate she had endorsed took a stand for the homosexual agenda in the public schools in Miami-Dade County, Anita Bryant took a stand against it.
Enter the real "hate speech": pies in the face, kidnapping threats, death threats, threats to her children, acts of violence to her home. Like a scene out of Sodom, homosexual activists surrounded her home screaming at the top of their lungs. Her mother was afraid to open the front door. She lost her marriage. She lost her jobs and any means of supporting herself and her four children. She was a sacrificial lamb to wake a sleeping nation. She stood alone. And yet she stood..
It goes on. Oh, it does go on. Hate crime laws for the sodomites and other, even worse travesties of justice followed in the wake of her defeat: terrible, terrible, poor martyred hero-lamb Bryant tried to stop them, but to no avail. And so forth.
Brings a god-dam tear to your eye, I tell you what.
But so yes, here's poor naif Anita Bryant at the peak of her gay-baiting career:
In 1977, Dade County, Florida (now Miami-Dade County) passed an ordinance sponsored by Bryant's former good friend Ruth Shack, that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Anita Bryant led a highly publicized campaign to repeal the ordinance as the leader of a coalition named Save Our Children. The campaign was waged based on what was labeled "Christian beliefs regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality and the perceived threat of homosexual recruitment of children and child molestation."
Her view was that "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." The campaign was called 'Save Our Children', the start of an organized opposition to gay rights that spread across the nation. Jerry Falwell went to Miami to help her.
Bryant made the following statements during the campaign:
"As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children"
"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."
On June 7, 1977, Bryant's campaign led to a repeal of the anti-discrimination ordinance by a margin of 69 to 31 percent...
You know, all of this feels -awfully- familiar, but I can't think why.
...It's a familiar pattern: the Christian right often has its greatest triumphs just after it's been pronounced moribund. In 1999, just as the Christian right was about to achieve unprecedented power in the Bush administration, The Economist wrote, "The armies of righteousness, which once threatened to overwhelm the Republican Party, are downcast and despondent."
One could have written the same thing last month. Now, as then, the movement has been resurrected. At the recent Values Voter Summit, a religious-right gathering in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Family Research Council, attendees were ebullient. "The surge of energy is unbelievable," said Emily Buchanan, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony List, a PAC that supports antiabortion candidates and aims to mobilize antiabortion women. "Sarah Palin is going to be our poster woman," she said. "She represents exactly what we've been trying to do since we were founded in 1992."
And you fell for it, PUMAs. Hook, line, and sinker. And, apparently, are still falling for it, and prepared to fall for it again in the next election cycle(s). I can't wait to hear still more about the exciting confluences and new agendas and whatever the fuck else "feminism" it is where powerful rightwing women get to be Queen For A Day (one way or another), along with, vicariously I guess, their adoring fangirls; and this takes priority over...well, everyone and everything else, apparently, including civil rights for the rest of us plebes.
barring gays and lesbians from adopting children -- is unconstitutional (duh)
Yes indeed. NOW it is. Finally. Says Florida. Thirty-one years later. Good thing someone in Florida finally got the memo, because seems like with our current SCOTUS, it wasn't gonna happen on the federal level:
In 2005, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the Florida law.
Also, too, lest we forget,
Some states, like Mississippi and Utah, effectively bar adoptions by same-sex couples through laws that prohibit adoption by unmarried couples. Arkansas voters passed a similar measure this month.
Along with, -snaps fingers,- o, what was that other measure that just passed...
With the passage of Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, the California constitution now defines marriage as “between a man and a woman,” excluding and thereby banning same-sex marriages. The proposition’s victory of 52 percent sparked protests statewide as well as nationwide. Now it seems that protesters have moved off the streets and into the courthouses.
On Nov. 19, the California Supreme Court agreed to listen to lawsuits charging that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Six of the seven justices agreed to hear the cases and required the parties involved to answer several questions pertaining to the proposition.
Whether Proposition 8 qualifies as a revision or an amendment to the California constitution, whether it violates the constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine by confining judges’ authority to protect gay couples, and if constitutional, whether it may nullify the some 18,000 gay marriages that occurred in California between June 16 and Nov. 4, are all questions facing the court.
It is a legal clusterfuck, I'll just sum up the rest of the piece helpfully, and the bottom line is: sooner or later, it's gonna have to go to SCOTUS. Now perhaps sooner rather than later. And while you, O gentle PUMAs, may think it's a "duh" that these laws have been unconstitutional, at -least- four of the sitting judges--the haler and healthier ones by far, on the whole--may not agree with you. And whatever they say, goes. You do understand this, right? I mean, you did? And that there was always more at stake than Roe alone? And that there are probably going to be at least three, maybe four, openings in the Court these next few years? Just checking.
A little background on the federal Defense Of Marriage Act, btw:
The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a federal law of the United States passed on September 21, 1996...The law has two effects:
No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.
The bill was passed by Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and a vote of 342-67 in the House of Representatives, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996.
At the time of passage, it was expected that at least one state would soon legalize same-sex marriage, whether by legislation or judicial interpretation of either the state or federal constitution. Opponents of such recognition feared (and many proponents hoped) that the other states would then be required to recognize such marriages under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.
Including the results of the 2008 general elections, two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) allow same-sex marriage, five states recognize some alternative form of same-sex union, twelve states ban any recognition of any form of same-sex unions including civil union, twenty-eight states have adopted amendments to their state constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, and another twenty states have enacted statutory DOMAs...
...Several challenges to the law's constitutionality have been appealed to the United States Supreme Court since its enactment, but so far the Court has declined to review any such cases. Many states have still not decided whether to recognize other states' same-sex marriages or not, which is unsurprising as only Iowa, California, and Massachusetts have issued licenses for same-sex marriages...
As I said: legal clusterfuck. Bob Barr authored DOMA and has since apologized (!); Bill Clinton signed it, was adamant that he's for marriage as "between a man and a woman" (like who isn't, she said wearily). Very few people are happy with this state of affairs; the only exceptions are probably the people making filthy lucre and building their careers off the complex ongoing state-by-state battles. Some people--including, surprise! Obama--are for the repeal of DOMA altogether.
And then there are those--Sarah Palin, for one example--who are in support of this solution: a Federal Marriage Amendment.
The legal consensus is that the 2003 version of the FMA would have barred all governments from recognizing same-sex marriage from, civil union or domestic partnership status. It also might have prohibited the granting of any of the civil rights and responsibilities of marriages to any unmarried couple, including responsibilities regarding joint parenting, adoption, custody and child visitation rights, joint insurance policies, veteran's benefits, and domestic violence relief such as restraining and protection orders.
2004 and later versions
The first sentence of the 2004 FMA, and the effectively identical 2005/2006 and 2008 versions, would prevent any state from allowing same-sex marriage, even if the voters of that state amended the state's constitution to require recognition of same-sex marriages. Ratification of the amendment would have caused the dissolution of existing same-sex marriages recognized in Massachusetts.
As you can see by following the timeline, each run-through makes passage look increasingly remote; and this round, of course, between Obama and the heavily Democratic Congress, it seems unlikely anyone will even bother to try, unless as yet another rally-the-troops-for-the-sake-of-it gesture. Still, it really ain't over till it's over, and right now it's far from over.
Oh--also too by the way? That first, 2003 version of the FMA was penned by one Marilyn Musgrave. Thankfully, her defeat this year went to another woman, Betsy Markey, so the 30% solution is still as safe as it was -there-. Phew, right? I mean, what a loss it would've been otherwise, this fine woman who was--milestone! the first Republican woman elected to Congress from Colorado. She was also
an original cosponsor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. She has received the support of the Susan B. Anthony List, an pro-life PAC.
Musgrave also opposes embryonic stem cell research on abortion-related grounds, and was a vocal proponent of the 2005 congressional intervention into the Terri Schiavo case...
...Musgrave has also weighed in on the Emergency Contraception controversy. On July 25, 2005, Musgrave criticized a witness at a congressional subcommittee hearing who had claimed she was "humiliated and discriminated against" at a pharmacist's refusal to fill prescription of emergency contraception, claiming that it was only an issue of "inconvenience" to be denied emergency contraception.
In 2003, a Musgrave submitted an amendment to the Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act, which would have prevented distribution of contraception to runaway teens. It was defeated. 
...In June 2005, Musgrave cited Coral Ridge Ministries founder D. James Kennedy, one of the leaders of the Dominionist movement, as one of her inspirations to enter politics:
...Other political groups that Musgrave is allied with include Focus on the Family, Alliance for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the National Taxpayers Union, the Christian Coalition, and the Traditional Values Coalition.
And yet, look at this heartwarming picture of conservative feminism in action, before her sad defeat (I'm sure she's right not to have conceded or said anything to Betsy Markey even to this day):
See that? Once more, with feeling: it's a woman in politics, giving an award--named after a famous feminist, yet!-- to another woman in politics!! Look at that great big tent! Sisters, it just doesn't get any better than this.
And now, your moment of zen:
jenniforhillary 11.07.08 at 9:10 pm
...as a WHITE woman who as worked her entire life in social service mostly with people of color I am FUCKING offended by BO and his fucking ‘community organizer’ bs since I have done more in my life for blacks than he ever will.
Sixth, Blacks voted AGAINST gays and I laughed all the way home…you both deserve each other as voting blocks. Most of my friends of gay and NONE of them supported BO....The fact that blacks showed their hypocrisy and gays got hurt is KARMA since MOST local and the NATIONAL GLBT supported BO. I say you deserve each other.