Californians contributed more money to the campaign than any state except Florida. The San Francisco gay community responded with more than its checkbooks, however. Although the Dade County Coalition had rejected an orange juice boycott, Californians offered grape juice and California citrus as an alternative. One lesbian columnist reasoned that boycotting Florida orange juice was not “a question of free speech, but simply of free enterprise.”
Hundreds of gays sent postcards to Anita Bryant, saying, “We are switching to prune juice, and we will send you the results.”
Regardless of its minimal effect on orange juice sales, the boycott nonetheless became a legendary part of gay history. Florida citrus growers extended Bryant’s contract for two years until 1980, but did not use her again as a spokeswoman.
Jim Foster, an aide to San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and Ethan Geto, a New York activist, came to work on the referendum seven weeks before election day. They made its focus voters who “felt in the abstract that gay people were entitled to basic human rights.” Foster said that “a gay rights campaign has no way of winning.”
“A day without human rights is like a day without sunshine” became
the campaign motto, a twist on Bryant’s orange juice sales pitch.
Dade Commissioner Ruth Shack told Miami citizens that “human
rights are not gifts to be distributed to those who meet our approval
and withheld from those with whom we disagree.”