Today in Gay History – Anita Bryant’s Face Collides with a Pie

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39 years ago today, anti gay activist and orange juice pusher Anita Bryant is pied by gay activist Tom Higgins during a press conference regarding her anti-gay crusade.

At the time, Bryant was the public face of “Save Our Children”, an anti homosexual political group seeking to overthrow a recently passed public ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation.

“What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life,” Bryant said in 1977. “I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before.”

In retaliation, the LGBT community organized a boycott of Florida orange juice, as Bryant was Florida citrus’s spokesperson.  Gay bars stopped selling screwdrivers and instead sold ‘Anita Bryants’, made with vodka and apple juice, using the proceeds to fund the fight against Bryant and “Save Our Children.”

Ultimately, the Florida Citrus Commission dumped Bryant, her marriage failed and she faded into obscurity.  Bryant is still active today, running her own ministry.