Anita Bryant’s antigay crusade, as the name of the organization she headed indicated, focused on children. She presented herself to voters as a concerned mother.
Seizing on the fact that Miami’s antidiscrimination ordinance would affect hiring in the schools, her rhetoric revolved around the argument that gay people habitually prey on young children and endeavor to convert them to homosexuality.
A poll conducted early in the campaign by Mike Thompson, an advertising executive and Save Our Children leader, showed that female voters in Dade County overwhelmingly supported the gay rights ordinance. Thompson thought this support was based on women’s experience with their “hairdressers, dress designers and dog groomers.” To change mothers’ minds, Save our Children presented gays as a danger to children.
Whenever she spoke, Bryant warned audience, “Homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they must recruit.” GO TO PANEL 11