Anita Bryant

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The infamous "Christian" activist of the late 70's. A former beauty queen and semi-popular recording star, Anita used her success as a commercial pitchwoman to declare war on gays and lesbians. Anita launched a national "Save Our Children" campaign; her vile and shrill child-molester rhetoric led to the repeal of civil rights ordinances in Dade County, Florida, and various other states, and a Florida ban on adoption by gays (Dade restored their ordinance in 1998; the adoption ban remains in place). For all Anita's confidence in the wrath of God, she was not quite prepared when that wrath was turned on her. From 1978 to 1980, she was pied in the face, a boycott ended her career as orange juice pitchwoman, and her fundamentalist fan base turned against her when she divorced. In more recent years, opponents and propopents of gay rights are louder than ever, but Anita is strangely quiet. Perhaps repeatedly ripping off her employees and declaring bankruptcy has something to do with that. She's as likely today to get a hostile reaction in Branson, MO, as she is in San Francisco. The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways, doesn't He?

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