Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Remembering Anita Bryant and 'Orange Tuesday'
By Eric Holeman
2018-06-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On June 7, 1977, voters in Dade County, Florida overwhelmingly voted to repeal the county's recently passed gay-rights ordinance, concluding a campaign that put gay rights—and gay people—on the evening news and daily newspapers across the country.

Chicago photographer Jerry Pritikin lived in San Francisco at the time, and remembered how the Florida election was a wake-up call for gay-rights activists across the country.

He'd moved there for the relative freedom it offered, but even San Francisco wasn't always tolerant.

"It was a very conservative city then," Pritikin said. "Most people think of it as a liberal city, but it wasn't. It had corrupt police, corrupt government, corrupt officials. Not liberal at all. It was more open than Chicago, but still conservative." Before gay neighborhoods blossomed, bars were discreetly hidden among docks and warehouses. "Not out in the open like they are now."

As closet doors were opened, activists lobbied for legal protections across the country. Dade County adapted its anti-discrimination ordinance in December, 1976.

The backlash was immediate and fierce. Petitions were circulated, and a special election to repeal the ordinance was scheduled for the following June. The anti-gay forces found a champion in Anita Bryant, a former Miss Oklahoma who was known for her TV commercials for Florida Orange Juice.

Bryant's celebrity brought national attention to the fight for gay rights. "It was a big deal," recalled Pritikin. "We'd heard about the Miami fight. Anita Bryant was famous. Everybody knew her TV ads for orange juice, and then she became famous as the face of the anti-gay movement. I remember hearing her on the radio, singing on the radio, sometimes. And her face was all over the TV from the juice commercials."

Even though Bryant campaigned against gay rights, her celebrity helped grow gay activism, Pritikin said. "Anita made the gay-rights movement a national story. She put the movement in the gay-rights movement. All segments of the movement came together because of her. She was the best thing that happened to the gay community."

On the day of the vote, Pritikin recalled the mood in San Francisco. The repeal vote was scheduled for June 7, 1977. The election was 3,000 miles and three time zones away.

"When the polls closed in Florida, it was only 4 or 5 p.m. in San Francisco. People were still getting off of work. A lot of gay guys were in the habit of stopping at a local bar for a drink on their way home."

To quench their thirst? "They were hoping to get lucky, maybe."

But this time was different. "The TV said the early ballots were in, and it didn't look good for the repeal." Pritikin grabbed his camera and headed for the Castro.

"I didn't live far away, but there were already a lot of people coming down to the Castro. … They didn't quite know what to make of this, yet. They were a little angry and a little nervous. The mood was confused."

Harvey Milk, a camera store owner who had run for city council, addressed the crowd.

When the crowd moved to the subway station at Castro and Market streets, Pritikin spotted television cameras. "There was one TV crew I saw along the way, from Channel 2 in San Francisco.

Pritikin asked the reporter if he had a name for the lead-in. He said no; Pritikin offered a suggestion: "'Call it Orange Tuesday,' I shouted. He pointed at me and smiled. The evening news at 11 ran with it."

As the crowd grew, Milk urged the crowd to march along Market Street to downtown San Francisco. Pritikin followed with his camera. "We went by City Hall and continued over past Nob Hill and ended up in Union Square. When they arrived at the square, Harvey was the only one with a bullhorn, but he let others use it to make their speeches too."

As he spoke, Pritikin snapped a photo of Milk with the bullhorn.

"I only got two photos of Harvey that night. I only had one roll of film to work with. It ended before midnight. I took the film to a contact at AP, I told him it had some pictures he could use. The bureau chief said it was only a local story, and there wouldn't be any national interest. I said it was a response to a local story 3,000 miles away, but with a march of 5,000 people, that made it a national story."

Papers across the country ran the photo. The San Francisco Examiner put it on the front page, but with no credit to the photographer. "Back then you didn't get your name on a wire service story unless you shot an aeroplane falling from the sky," Pritikin explained.

Anger over the ordinance battle continued into San Francisco's pride march later that month. One group carried five poster-sized photos that symbolized bigots throughout history. The photos showed Hitler, a burning cross, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Josef Stalin, and in the center, the smiling face of Anita Bryant.

Harvey Milk would go on to win election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later that year. Pritikin continued to photograph him until Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated in November 1978.

Anita Bryant continued to campaign against gay rights for several years, attracting admirers and detractors. Pritikin honored her with a T-shirt that cheekily declared "Anita Bryant's husband is a HOMO SAPIEN."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Trans candidate McBride makes history again 2020-09-16 - Sarah McBride—who, in 2016, was the first openly transgender person to address the Democratic National Convention—made history again with a primary victory, setting ...


Gay News

Red Stars player making history as part of men's team 2020-09-09 - Forward Yuki Nagasato is heading to Japan, where she will make history as the first woman playing professionally for Hayabusa Eleven, an amateur ...


Gay News

Aurora garden damage seen as possible hate crime 2020-09-02 - In Aurora, a garden that included a shed painted rainbow colors to support the LGBTQ community was destroyed recently after someone smashed it ...


Gay News

Looking at implementation of an LGBTQ+ curriculum in state public schools 2020-09-02 - On Aug. 9, 2019, Gov. JB Pritzker signed Illinois House Bill 246 into law, amending the school code to include contributions of LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

American Art Awards names 25 best American galleries, museums 2020-09-01 - This is the 12th anniversary for the American Art Awards organization who decides the 25 Best American Galleries and Museums each May. Decisions ...


Gay News

DANK Haus hosts 'Gay Berlin' forum with author 2020-08-19 - Chicago's DANK Haus German American Cultural Center hosted a virtual discussion event with Dr. Robert Beachy, author of the Randy Shilts Award-winning book ...


Gay News

Driehaus reopening in late August 2020-08-18 - The Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie St., will reopen to the public Saturday, Aug. 29. The museum will open for a members-only preview ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Disarm Hate' features LGBTQ+ gun-control activists after massacre 2020-08-18 - Narrated by the iconic actor Harvey Fierstein, the film Disarm Hate seeks to create awareness about gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community following ...


Gay News

Convention week will make history 2020-08-17 - There will be a lot of history made at this week's Democratic National Convention. Some will be highly visible — like prime-time closing ...


Gay News

"She the People: Votes for Women" premiering Aug. 17 2020-08-16 - It's incredible that just a century ago, American women had no voice in democracy. It took over 70 years of campaigns, marches, protests ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.