Anita Bryant

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Anita Jane Bryant (born March 25, 1940) is an American anti-gay activist and singer.

If you truly are serious about life, nothing short of Jesus can suffice.
Your new day begins when you arrive at the place God intends.
It is simply not true that all human beings have the same rights.
The attempt by homosexuals to label this as a civil-rights issue was nothing but camouflage. If we as a nation eventually came to the place where this is sanctioned as a legitimate civil-rights issue, then what is to stop the adulterer from claiming "adulterer rights," the murderer from shouting "murderer rights," the thief to claim "extortioner rights," and a rebellious young person to insist on "rebellious-child rights"?
The media misquoted me, saying that I called homosexuals garbage. That was not what I said. As I talked about our concern for the health and diet of our children and other people's children, I said, "If they are exposed to homosexuality, I might as well feed them garbage."
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.

Quotes[edit]


Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory (1970)[edit]

Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company.
  • Those girls who give themselves to the man they love before marriage really succeed in cheating themselves. I know and understand how strong the temptation is, but also I know something else: there is nothing else more beautiful and wonderful than sexual love between marriage partners- when that love is entered into and blessed by God. Why would anyone want to accept anything less?
    • p. 66
  • I'm convinced that when you turn your business over to God entirely, He not only will send you exactly the type work that's best for your talents and your nature, but He'll help you begin to aim higher, so your ambitions will become more worthy of Him. It becomes a matter of really trusting the Lord to provide. This has to be learned. It may sound strange to those who don't operate the way Bob and I do, but we absolutely know the Lord will open all the right doors.
    • p. 78
  • The last three tours abroad with Bob Hope took my husband and I to Viet Nam. There was distinct danger those times, and more than once Bob and I discussed the wisdom of our flying together so much. With two small children to consider, we knew we should not take unnecessary risks. Still, something continued to draw us on, as Bob Hope said it would. That something is the incredible courage and stamina of the American fighting man, and still more, respect for all the good and decent things he stands for as an individual. We soon learned that these men wanted good, wholesome entertainment, not just cheap laughs. They wanted to look at a real woman from back home, not just what Bob Hope called the "sexpot type." And Bob and I learned that these men, who often lived and worked just moments away from death, very much cared about God.
    • p. 100

Bless This House (1972)[edit]

Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company. Co-written with Bob Green; all quotes are from sections specifically written by Bryant.
  • A Christian home never comes about by accident. I believe it must require more grace and hard work than any other organization on earth. Bob and I receive letters every day from Americans who express deep yearnings and real concern for the quality of life in their homes. They know they need God in their lives. How do you find this? They ask us. Where do you begin? To establish a Christian home, you must begin with the individuals in it. More accurately, you must start with yourself- wherever you are, whatever your role. The initial step is to make sure your own relationship with God is right by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as your personal Lord and Saviour. Nothing else can happen until you do. But when that right relationship is established, anything can happen. I mean it. We get so many letters telling about miracles that happened within four walls of a home. You can only praise Jesus for them! However, a "good" home will never be good enough.
    • p. 113-114
  • Nowadays many intelligent young women attempt to establish good homes on mere social and psychological precepts. They turn to well-meaning advice you find in popular magazines. I don't knock it. Much of it is good. However, it never goes far enough. It will leave you stranded every time. If you truly are serious about life, nothing short of Jesus can suffice.
    • p. 114

Bless This Food (1975)[edit]

Garden City: Doubleday and Company, Inc.
  • My cooking days began in Mother and Grandma Berry's kitchen. They allowed me to try all kinds of cooking "experiments." Then Grandpa and Grandma would taste the new dish and brag just like it was the tastiest meal ever. It never occurred to me that they might be speaking more out of love than out of truth.
    • p. xii
  • I truly felt (and feel) a strong sense of God's leadership in pursuing the thing I loved best- singing. I believe God gave me a voice to be used for His glory. He carefully guided me, constantly providing opportunities for each step of development in a career. I simply had to do my best, practice, prepare, and follow Him. In fact, my whole career is simply a study of God's plan and leadership. As long as I trusted Him for guidance, He miraculously showed me one step at a time. Every time I began to take things into my own hands or began to walk over people, or became too ambitious, God had ways of putting me in my place.
    • p. xiii

The Anita Bryant Story (1977)[edit]

Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company.
  • The media misquoted me, saying that I called homosexuals garbage. That was not what I said. As I talked about our concern for the health and diet of our children and other people's children, I said, "If they are exposed to homosexuality, I might as well feed them garbage." I think there is a difference, but I leave it to the reader to interpret as you wish- we did not resort to name-calling at any time during the campaign in Miami.
    • p. 27
  • The attempt by homosexuals to label this as a civil-rights issue was nothing but camouflage. If we as a nation eventually came to the place where this is sanctioned as a legitimate civil-rights issue, then what is to stop the adulterer from claiming "adulterer rights," the murderer from shouting "murderer rights," the thief to claim "extortioner rights," and a rebellious young person to insist on "rebellious-child rights"?
    • p. 35
  • The militant homosexuals in this country and their sympathizers don't realize the extent of my Christian convictions. They don't comprehend what my commitment to Christ really means. They think that my priorities are where their priorities are- in money, careers, power, doing what makes one feel good. It is not even within their realms of thinking that someone would sacrifice her career to stand for what she believes. But this I have been willing to do. The "gay" activists cannot comprehend that we have been the happiest in our lives since all this began, because we know we are doing what God has asked us to do. There is no satisfaction that equals it. The Lord and our family come first. This is what, in the idiom of the world, "turns us on." We have not been destroyed because of this; we have been strengthened. Through it all I was working as if everything depended on me, but I was praying, knowing everything depended on God. And it did! And it does! And He does not let down those who trust and obey Him.
    • p. 37
  • To talk about the "rights" of someone who has chosen to rebel against responsible living is nonsense. It is simply not true that all human beings have the same rights.
    • p. 38
  • The hurt in my heart and the agony in my soul were of such intensity that when I was home and first got the news of a national homosexual bill similar to the one in Dade County, all I could do was cry. This bill, HR2998, would have the effect of making it mandatory nationwide to hire known practicing homosexuals in public schools and in other areas. With all the thousands of other letters I received from groups all over the country dealing with pornography, abortion, TV violence, ERA, and various other things, all I could do was weep for America. There are no words in the English language strong enough to describe the grief I felt.
    • p. 53
      • NOTE: The bill referenced was introduced in the House of Representatives, 95th Congress by Edward I. Koch (D-NY) on 2 February 1977, and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Education and Labor the same day. No further action on the bill ever took place. Contrary to Bryant's claims, the actual summary of the bill was: "Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on affectional or sexual preference in: (1) public accommodations; (2) public facilities; (3) public education; (4) federally assisted opportunities; (5) equal employment opportunities; (6) housing; and (7) educational programs receiving Federal assistance."
  • 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.
    • p. 62
  • God's blessing and gratitude... To all those others who served with us during the campaign in Miami, many of whom we disagree with on many issues, political and otherwise, but, who are united with us in the preservation of the American family unit and the attacks on this unit by certain militant segments of our society.
    • p. 156

At Any Cost (1978)[edit]

Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company. Co-written with Bob Green; all quotes are from sections specifically written by Bryant.
  • When we started in January 1977, I didn't realize the Dade County situation would lead to a national organization to help other cities. The response has been staggering. I pray that when you, the reader, read news articles or hear news about my public and private life, you will not let the liberal press slant your view.
    • p. 33
  • In the final analysis, we are accountable to God. I may not have the media or the entertainment industry backing me, but I know I do have the backing of the majority of the American people. It is not anything I sought or asked for; but what the militant homosexual community has meant for evil, God has meant and used for good. And that is biblical.
    • p. 34
  • God makes people this way... What could be more erroneous than to blame God for the sin of homosexuality? No one can lay that charge to the Almighty. Research data consistently show that homosexuals must make a choice whether to act out their sexual preference or to keep it under control. Jerry Kirk in his book The Homosexual Crisis in the Mainline Church states that righteousness, not research, will decide where the church must stand. As of now the claims of scientists and researchers are contradictory. Either the church stands on the claims of the Word of God and faces up to the fact that God calls for moral responsibility, or it will be held accountable for failure to hold up the standards of righteousness.
    • p. 35
  • We have a determined foe. It calls for a mighty show of strength by the hitherto silent masses. We believe that the silent majority in America will not allow this destruction of either me or this nation to take place.
    • p. 72
  • On the talk-show program, Ed showed the duplicity of Ken Kelly in trying to make me look anti-Semitic. Kelly had made it appear that I hate Jews and that I had singled out and assigned them to hell. The Bible teaches that those who reject Jesus Christ are lost and doomed to separation from Him in heaven. There is a heaven, and there is a hell. The idea did not originate with me. God has provided a way of salvation, and if men choose to reject this plan, then they are going to have to pay the penalty- non-Jews, as well as Jews. It has nothing to do with a person's ethnic background.
    • p. 78
  • We are living in the midst of a social revolution in our society. My heart's cry is wake up, wake up America, before it's too late.
    • p. 145

A New Day (1992)[edit]

Nashville: Broadman Press.
  • I recall soon after my movie to Atlanta in 1984 that the Atlanta Press Club asked me to appear as the "mystery guest" at their Christmas party. Nothing felt scarier than facing a roomful of journalists and their antagonistic questions. I knew I'd have to meet the "enemy" sometime, of course, so why not all of them at once? I asked two friends to accompany me, took a deep breath, and waded into no-man's land. It didn't take long for a talk-show host to corner me and needle me about views obviously at the opposite pole from my own. "Tell me how you feel about abortion," he asked, waving an obvious red flag in my face. "I don't think you want to talk with me about abortion, because I have a very biased viewpoint," I replied. That disconcerted him, but he persisted. "I have a brilliant, handsome, very gifted son, and he's adopted," I told the reporter. "I simply can't be objective about that subject. I do believe that women should control their own bodies, though, but the control needs to be applied before they get pregnant, not after the fact. Once pregnant, a woman is dealing with a child's life and a father's offspring. It isn't too difficult to control one's body by abstaining from sex but, if one chooses not to abstain, one should be prepared for the responsibility of having a child." At once the man's challenging demeanor changed. No longer did he attempt to outwit me conversationally but instead turned into a charming, interested, human individual. We got along fine from that moment on.
    • p. 41-42
  • God provides access to Him at all times and in all places. You can enter a new relationship to God at this moment through His Son Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if you never approached Him before, or if you once knew Him but have turned away. Even if you're not quite convinced in your heart that God exists and that He cares for you, He still wants to hear from you.
    • p. 49
  • Expect the relationship between God and you to be something totally unique. It's person-to-Person, and it may sometimes be stormy, but always interesting. And when we find ourselves flat on our faces, trying to look up, that's when the strongest bonds become established. Our crisis becomes His opportunity.
    • p. 49
  • Your new day begins when you arrive at the place God intends.
    • p. 208

Quotes about Bryant[edit]

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
Hey, Fuck Aneta Bryant
Who the Hell is she
Telling all them faggots
That they can't be free
Throw that bitch in prison
Then maybe she'll see
Just how much them goddamned homosexuals mean to me ~ David Allan Coe
The image of Bryant that emerges from the Carson monologues- repeatedly to the cheers and laughter of, one presumes, a largely heterosexual studio audience- is that of a prudish, self-righteous fanatic. ~ Tom Shales
Anita Bryant Sucks Oranges
Actress Liz Torres speaks at 17 June 1977 Anita Bryant protest
  • Hey, Fuck Aneta Bryant
    Who the Hell is she
    Telling all them faggots
    That they can't be free
    Throw that bitch in prison
    Then maybe she'll see
    Just how much them goddamned homosexuals mean to me
    • David Allan Coe, "Fuck Aneta Bryant", Nothing Sacred (1978)
  • Because they...
    Wash your clothes
    Clean your cell
    Help you drain your hose
    Give you smokes
    Laugh at jokes
    Sew up all your clothes
    Rub your feet
    Beat your meat
    Heaven only knows
    What I'd do without those homosexuals
    • David Allan Coe, "Fuck Aneta Bryant", Nothing Sacred (1978)
  • They all
    Read and Write
    Fuck all night
    Clean your fingernails
    Help you dress
    Play you chess
    Lay you down some rails
    Be your wife
    Take your life
    In a jealous rage
    Who says we don't need them homosexuals
    • David Allan Coe, "Fuck Aneta Bryant", Nothing Sacred (1978)
  • I tell you
    Some are big
    Some are small
    Some are in-between
    Some are yellow belly queers
    And some of them are mean
    Some are killers
    Some are thiefs
    Some are singers too
    In fact Aneta Bryant
    Some act just like you
    • David Allan Coe, "Fuck Aneta Bryant", Nothing Sacred (1978)
  • 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
  • Sometimes I think I'm the only one who ever comes out and disagrees with Anita Bryant. In the whole world! I get tired of it occasionally- the repercussions. But if she didn't have one person who disagreed with her, it would be disastrous for her. I can't think of anyone else who gives her a hard time. I know I'm important to Anita- how lonely it is, not having people tell you how it really is and what you really are. She trusts me. "Husbands, love your wives." When I look back at our early years, with their lack of spiritual content, I can hardly compare them to what we know now. Still, even at our worst, we had what I consider a normal family structure: man, wife, children. Nowadays in this world, roles seem to get terribly confused.
    • Bob Green, Bless This House (1972) by Anita Bryant and Bob Green, p. 140-141
  • Sandy Hill: Liv, why do you feel so strongly about speaking out against Anita Bryant and her cause?
    Liv Ullman: Because it's a violation of human rights, civil rights, and it doesn't concern only gay people, it concerns everybody, who sooner or later in life might belong to a group that will be discriminated against.
    • Sandy Hill and Liv Ullman during Ullman's 2 August 1977 appearance on Good Morning America. Ullman was introduced by David Hartman and then was interviewed by Sandy Hill. As quoted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 35
  • Now that the smoke has cleared from last month's big shoot-out in the Dade County corral, let's take a closer look at one aspect of Anita Bryant. The lady is, incidentally, a phenomenon- that rarest of rare birds these days: a female entertainer willing to stand up to the vilest and most scurrilous kind of public abuse for the sake of morality, simple decency and Holy Scripture. But it's the "one aspect" I want to zero in on. Anita doesn't want her children taught in tax-supported public schools by sex perverts. Do you?
    • Max Rafferty, "Joining the Bryant Brigade" in the Los Angeles Times in July 1977, reprinted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 141
  • Here's why I'm lining up in the Bryant Brigade. Not because I want any American denied his or her constitutional rights. Not because I want particularly to be beastly to the bisexual or nasty to the nance. No, it's because children- especially young children- reason this way, and you'd better believe it: "Mom and Dad tell me to mind the teacher, to listen carefully to what she tells me. So what she does and what she is must be okay, fine and dandy." But what the homosexual teacher does and is are most emphatically not okay, fine or dandy at all. Such people, whether willingly or unwillingly, are abnormal by the very definition of the word. The ancient Jews who wrote the Torah used an interesting term to identify the act of sodomy: "confusion." That's what it is, you know. Confusion of the sex roles. Confusion of the biological purpose behind the sex act. Confusion of masculinity with femininity. Confusion thrice combined.
    • Max Rafferty, "Joining the Bryant Brigade" in the Los Angeles Times in July 1977, reprinted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 141
  • And school children catch on inevitably and quickly. Little pitchers have big ears, as our forebears were fond of saying, and it's still true. Their reasoning is stark in its simplicity and as certain as sunrise: "If it's okay to hire a pervert to teach in a public institution and if it's okay to pay a pervert with tax money and if it's okay to put a pervert in charge of the educational destinies of children, then it must be okay to be a pervert." This, fellow Americans, we simply cannot have. We cannot have it because the actual survival of our country in the years ahead depends upon a generation which will be straight, not distorted- sensible, not absurd. Where do I sign up for the duration, General Bryant?
    • Max Rafferty, "Joining the Bryant Brigade" in the Los Angeles Times in July 1977, reprinted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 142
  • Echoes of the Dade County, Florida war rumble on, and Anita Bryant, the Orange Juice girl who became chief protagonist on the side of the victors, emerges as a composite Lucrezia Borgia and Madame Defarge: Militant piety in a Jacobin cap. Miss Bryant is accused of fomenting mass hysteria; of bringing shame upon the nation; of engineering, unassisted, a massive defeat of democracy, and of single-handedly thrusting the country back into the dark ages. Mercy me! One small lady did that? One frenzied letter to our leading herald here in Seattle manages somehow to link Miss Bryant with the anti-Chinese "hysteria" that allegedly overtook the whole country at the turn of the century, the Japanese "exclusion act" of the 1920s (it wasn't exclusion, it was an entry quota), the Japanese resettlement act of World War II, and something the writer calls the "expatriation" of Filipinos. Maybe she means repatriation, which is decidedly different. "Will this country never free itself of this mass hysteria?" the writer asks. "Must every generation shield its children from those few individuals who can tolerate nothing that does not incorporate their own life style...?"
    Talk about hysteria! Now, honestly, does any reasonable person really suppose Anita Bryant managed all that? Isn't it possible that the homosexual community is itself responsible in large measure for this controversy? After all, no one paid them much attention, on the job or off, until they started jabbering publicly about their sex lives, like the cretins in television and the movies who suppose their bedroom activities are somehow of interest to, or the business of, everyone else.
    • Robert R. "Bob" Roberts, KIXI-AM radio broadcast commentator in Seattle, WA, in a radio piece entitled "Anita Bryant: Convenient Kicking Object for Boobs and Hysterics", as quoted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 149-150
  • And just what did Anita Bryant do anyway, apart from persuasively speaking her piece from her point of view? She wasn't the issue, nor were her fundamentalist beliefs the issue. The issue was an ill-considered ordinance that proposed to tell employers whom they must hire, not on the basis of aptitude and qualification for the job, but on the basis of sexual preference, habit or aberration. Had the ordinance not been defeated, how long does one suppose it would have taken the bureaucrats to establish quotas for such hiring? And who would be the next in line demanding their rights? The sado-masochists and the cult of bestiality? If this country would try to get its collective mind out of its groin for five minutes it might recognize that the issue in this melancholy wrangle wasn't Anita Bryant or the rights of homosexuals. It was another blatant attempt by government to impose improper rules and restrictions upon free men and women. The ordinance was bad law; and it was repealed because it was bad law. Anita Bryant is only a convenient kicking object for the hysterical.
    • Robert R. "Bob" Roberts, KIXI-AM radio broadcast commentator in Seattle, WA, in a radio piece entitled "Anita Bryant: Convenient Kicking Object for Boobs and Hysterics", as quoted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 150
  • The image of Bryant that emerges from the Carson monologues- repeatedly to the cheers and laughter of, one presumes, a largely heterosexual studio audience- is that of a prudish, self-righteous fanatic. Was the New York blackout an "act of God"? No, said Carson, because "Anita Bryant would never have given Him time off."
    • Tom Shales, writing for the Washington Post, as quoted by Anita Bryant, The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation's Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality (1977), p. 36

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