In 1977, Anita Bryant was perhaps best known as the spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission as well as First Federal Savings and Loan Association, Singer Sewing Machines, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Holiday Inn and Tupperware. She was 37, married to Miami DJ Bob Green, mother of four, a former beauty queen and singer, known in the 1960s for her wholesome image. For three consecutive years she won the “Most Admired Woman in America” poll in Good Housekeeping magazine.
She appeared with evangelist Billy Graham in 1963 to call college students back to God, and organized a “Youth for Decency” rally at the Orange Bowl to protest sexual explicitness in entertainment. In her campaign against the gay rights amendment, Bryant told audiences that her twins, who had been born prematurely and almost died “were saved by the grace of God” and that she would not let them be exposed, as a result of the Metro Commission’s antidiscrimination law, to homosexuals.
Bryant told her husband she was willing to be a leader in the fight against homosexuality in Dade County. At his urging, she went on the local Christian radio station in an effort to inform gay rights opponents before it was too late. GO TO PANEL 7