At the Save Our Children victory party, Anita Bryant declared, “the laws of God and man have been vindicated. All America and all the world have heard the people of Miami.” Posing for photographers, Bryant’s husband put his arms around her and announced, “This is what heterosexuals do, fellas,” and kissed her on the mouth.
Bryant vowed to go national with her antigay crusade.
“With God’s continued help, we will prevail in our fight to repeal similar laws throughout the nation.” Inspired by Miami’s example, three cities, Eugene, Oregon; Wichita, Kansas; and St. Paul, Minnesota repealed their gay rights ordinances within a year of the Dade County referendum. The issue was also put on the ballot in Seattle, Washington, but that city had the distinction of being the first in the country to vote against repeal. A statewide initiative that Bryant campaigned for the next year in California to ban homosexuals or anyone advocating “the gay lifestyle” from teaching in the public schools also went down to defeat. Both lost by margins as lopsided as the Miami repeal, temporarily stopping the antigay momentum.
Save Our Children, fast running out of money, was unable to mount its promised campaign to direct repeal efforts nationwide. Bryant herself grew tired of politics, preferring to make her statements through other means, such as an album of romantic songs called “There’s Nothing like the Love between a Man and a Woman.” GO TO PANEL 17