Supporters of Proposition 8 have something of a homophobic patron saint in Anita Bryant, the former beauty queen/orange juice-spokeswoman whose spunky brand of hatred is revived for a new generation in the upcoming Milk. Archival footage features some of her more winning moments ("If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nailbiters" is in there somewhere) from the campaign for Proposition 6, which in 1978 would have allowed for the firing of openly gay public school teachers. But that was then, we're hearing — Anita Bryant is saved! (Sort of.)Marc Malkin called up Bryant's ministry in Oklahoma to see what the 68-year-old firebrand thought of Gus Van Sant's new film. A man identifying himself as her second husband, Charlie Dry, commenced stonewalling against the gossip's inquiries, though we think we spot a glimmer of hope between the grumpy Bible-Belt lines:
"There are not going to be any interviews with her or us, because it's not a subject we care to cover," Dry said. "I don't care if they make a movie about anybody. We're not going to get back into that battle." I asked about conflicting reports that suggested Bryant once expressed remorse for her antigay work. Dry replied, "She never apologized, because it's wrong." [...] "It's in the past, man," Dry said. "That's not in our life anymore. She's not out there doing that crap anymore—hasn't done it in 25 years."
So wait: "It's wrong" that she was said to have apologized? Or her homophobia wasn't wrong enough to apologize in the first place? Such confusion! Still, 25 years is a long time to ride the low-profile wagon — and she didn't even fall off when Prop 8's endorsees passed the hat. Not that she could pull the reins from the Mormons' hands anyway.