Anita Bryant lives, but fades
After watching the film Milk recently, an inspiring and tragic story which will hopefully reach a lot of young people and affect their thinking about the rights and treatment of homosexuals, I wondered about the arch-enemy of the tale, Anita Bryant, a former small-time singer driven, presumably by conscience, to campaign against the horrors of homosexuality.
The fact is that Bryant's campaign turned out to be a rather less than successful career move. Initial successes in the late sixties led to a galvanization and mobilization of the opposition. A campaign to boycott Florida orange juice, because Bryant featured in commercials for the drink, led to her losing the contract, and her singing career stalled because of the polarization of opinion around her. Later she came to regret the extremity of some of her anti-homosexual remarks, though one wonders if this was simply an acknowledgment of tactical errors, for in spite of her many setbacks, she still lends her name to churchy arguments against the so-called gay agenda.
It seems that, in spite of the noisiness of religious conservatives, especially during the Bush years, homosexuals continue to make more gains than losses, in spite of the passing of proposition eight, outlawing gay marriage, in California recently. Many of Bryant's legal victories have since been overturned, and I'm confident that as people learn more about the realities of human behaviour, and the dead hand of religion is gradually loosened, homosexual relations, of every formal and informal type imaginable, will be accepted and enjoyed as enriching the tapestry of social life.