I repeat my belief: Homosexuals do not suffer discrimination when they keep their perversions in the privacy of their homes. They can hold any job, transact any business, join any organization- so long as they do not flaunt their homosexuality and try to establish role models for the impressionable young people- our children. I will continue to fight the attempts of Metro, and the attempts of a few Congressmen who on February 2 presented a similar type of bill in the Congress of the United States to legitimize homosexuality. Homosexuals cannot reproduce- so they must recruit. And to freshen their ranks, they must recruit the youth of America. I shall continue to fight against that recruitment. Those who do not share my conviction may continue to blacklist my talent- but with God's help, they can never blacken my name.
The new right struck pure gold in Anita Bryant. A mother, celebrity singer, former Miss America, and spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Growers ("A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine"), the chirpy Bryant was the ideal model for its antigay crusade. ~ John Gallagher and Chris Bull
Until the late 1970s, occasional antigay appeals from the right had been like valuable ores left unrefined. But the new right struck pure gold in Anita Bryant. A mother, celebrity singer, former Miss America, and spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Growers ("A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine"), the chirpy Bryant was the ideal model for its antigay crusade. She could safely emphasize the supposed danger the homosexual movement posed to families without appearing mean-spirited. In a 1977 fund-raising letter filled with passages underlined in red, she wrote: "Dear friend: I don't hate the homosexuals! But as a mother, I must protect my children from their evil influence. When the homosexuals burn the holy Bible in public, how can I stand by silently?" Like those of a host of her antigay successors, Bryant's fund-raising appeals would fail to identify which gays had burned a Bible or where, much less acknowledge any anger gays might justifiably harbor at what they took as her appropriating Scriptures for her own partisan political purposes.
John Gallagher and Chris Bull, The Perfect Enemies: The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s (1996), Ch. 1