Anita Bryant and Sarah Palin

Anita gets a pie in the face. 1977.

Well there’s no real difference between Anita Bryant and Sarah Palin, is there? Except maybe that Bryant can utter repeated coherent sentences without a teleprompter, that is. Both are reactionary bigots who hide their hatreds behind a pious cloak of extreme right wing religiosity.

Anita Byrant was the spokesperson for the virulent anti-gay ballot measures of the 1970’s. They achived several wins across the country and California was supposed to be their crowning vicory when the loathsome Prop 6 passed. It would have banned gays from teaching and even would have banned anyone who supported them.

It was only by huge and massive organizing from the gay community led by Harvey Milk, Tom Ammiano, and others that Prop 6 was defeated. This is all detailed in Milk, which I saw last night. It’s still with me, I’m still thinking about it.

BTW, Dan White wanted to kill four people. He was also gunning for Willie Brown and another supervisor, Carol Ruth Silver. His motive was probably mostly vengeance at not being reinstated after he resigned. Dianne Feinstein, who was first to find the bodies, has said he was bi-polar. While all that is no doubt true, his pathology, like that of Anita Bryant and Sarah Palin, was encouraged and abetted by extreme right wing fundamentalism.

Their sickness is still here. The Religious Right threw everything they had at Obama but it bounced back and slimed them instead. Something shifted in America during the 2008 election. Let’s make sure it stays that way.