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Obituary of a Bitter Man

Jim Burroway

February 26th, 2012

Probably not how you would want to be remembered:

Bob Green, a onetime radio DJ who married pop singer and Miss Oklahoma Anita Bryant, was found dead Jan. 26 at his home in Miami Beach. He was 80.

Mr. Green managed his wife’s rise to stardom as an entertainer and Florida citrus spokeswoman, then followed her into anti-gay activism, which ultimately destroyed their careers — and marriage in 1980. For more than 30 years, Mr. Green lived quietly, alone and resentful.

…In 2007, Mr. Green told the Miami Herald that he blamed gay people for the turmoil in his life because “their stated goal was to put [Bryant] out of business and destroy her career. And that’s what they did. It’s unfair.”

Oh yes, how terribly unfair.



Priya Lynn
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Good on him.

Bose in St. Peter MN
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

The full Rothaus/Brecher piece at the Miami Herald adds illuminating paragraphs.

Robert Jr. notes that “it was really hard [for Bob] to see his own responsibility for what happened to him…”

I wish I had more time to research: In the history of anti-gay movement leaders, were Bryant/Green the first to experience such a deep and long-standing fall, economically and in the public eye? Did that contribute to Green’s expectation that Bryant’s career was immune to backlash.

February 26th, 2012 | LINK

So no concept of the fact that he participated in all this, that he had some degree of agency in choosing the course of his own life??

I thought conservatives believed in personal responsibility, which includes taking responsibility for your actions and for their results.

It takes a lot of energy to be angry and resentful, maybe he wanted to live like that but I couldn’t do it. Maybe if he wouldn’t of been so angry he’d of had a better life?

Jim Schultz
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

What shocked both Anita Bryant and Bob Green was the simple fact that gays fought back. We defended ourselves against the attempted character assassination of an entire people. We were never a threat to children and we’d had it with such stereotypical accusations. Anita Bryant and her closeted husband did indeed win that first battle, but we won the war. Sorry Bob, you and Miss Sunshine completely brought this on yourselves.

Lindoro Almaviva
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Conservatives believe in the concept of personal responsibility when it comes to money. When it comes to their actions, they believe in the concept of “poor me, no one understands that I do it for their benefit.”

Timothy Kincaid
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

It’s fun to make up attributes and assign them to people you don’t like. Let’s try. Let’s play “Conservatives are…”

Of course it isn’t as much fun when people do it to us. We tend to think the game of “Gays are…” is bigotry.

So maybe, on second thought, let’s not.

February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Funny how with that kind of “conservative” nobody ever seems to benefit from their actions but them.

The old mantra of “Mind your own business” among the conservatives I grew up around seems to have been replaced with a desire to control or at least know what everyone else is doing while having everyone else stay out of their business.

Reality doesn’t work that way, you’d think they’d of noticed by now.

February 26th, 2012 | LINK

His attitude has translated into the contemporary right-wing idea of freedom of speech: I can say whatever I want, no matter how false and how hateful, without being subject to criticism or any other adverse reaction.

What’s remarkable is the lack of any ability to learn from experience.

February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Good riddance

Ben In Oakland
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

I read the comments that were posted at the link. mostly they echoed what’s here, but the interesting ones were those that “proved” how mean and hateful we gay people are, and how our collective jackboots come down on any christian (so-called) who “dares” to disagree.

All I can say, Mr. Green, is that if your life was so bitter and unhappy, maybe you shouldn’t have been telling all of those lies, including how unfair we were to you and miss sunshine.

And perhaps, though I may be confusing Missy B with Jerry Falwell, I believe the phrase “human garbage” fell like saliva from her frothing lips.

Roy Dalgleish
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Ben in Oakland,
I’m sorry but I must take profound exception with your remarks. There’s an immense difference between what Bryant and Green did and “disagreeing”.

They spread poisonous lies about gay men, vilified an entire population and did all they could to incite hatred.

So please, don’t tar me and any other gay men with the same brush as these two.

If it is “mean and hateful” to defend myself against their garbage, then let’s hear it for being “mean and hateful”.

Priya Lynn
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Roy, you misunderstood Ben. When Ben referred to “mean and hateful” gays he was being sarcastic, that’s why he had “proved” in quotation marks.

February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Bob Green, the Marcus Bachmann of the 1970’s.

Richard Rush
February 26th, 2012 | LINK

Snowman said,

The old mantra of “Mind your own business” among the conservatives I grew up around seems to have been replaced with a desire to control or at least know what everyone else is doing while having everyone else stay out of their business.

That’s why I’ve been saying they should not be allowed to own the word “conservative”. A new term should be forced upon these people to properly describe them: I recommend “controlatives.”

Ben in Oakland
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Thank you, priya.

Ben in Oakland
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Roy, please read my second paragraph, which was YOUR point.

February 27th, 2012 | LINK

The old mantra of “Mind your own business” among the conservatives I grew up around seems to have been replaced with a desire to control or at least know what everyone else is doing while having everyone else stay out of their business.

That’s actually a fairly common trait in people with certain types of personality disorders: extreme need to make other people follow their rules coupled with extreme aversion to following other people’s rules. It’s almost inevitably, as you’ve probably guessed, associated with an extraordinary lack of self-awareness.

Roy Dalgleish
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Hey Priya,

Thanks for the “heads up”. Not one of my sparkling days, apparently.

February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Yes, I know the type well. My ex-wife had Borderline Personality disorder and was exactly the sort of person you describe. She had to be the boss of everything, yet no one could tell her what to do. She was extremely Fundamentalist Christian yet she has five kids by four different dudes and lives on welfare. You would think with the rhetoric they throw around about how they hate people who live like that they wouldn’t let her in the church doors, but she’s there every sunday. Yes she goes to one of those churches that preaches if you don’t work you don’t eat and she hasn’t worked in ten years. How these people’s heads don’t explode from cognitive dissonance I’ll never understand. Haven’t spoken to her in five years and she still emails me.

Jay Jonson
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

See the article on Anita Bryant at It makes the point that her campaign helped launch the “Moral Majority” movement, but also helped energize the gay liberation movement. The defeat of the Briggs Amendment in California, which would have banned gay public school teachers, finally but a brake on a string of electoral victories limiting gay rights. The campaign against the Briggs Amendment was led by Harvey Milk and David Mixner. After gay people fought back and she was revealed as quite the opposite of her “good girl next door” image, her career and that of Green fell apart. Then went their marriage. And then came the bankruptcies.

February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Ms. Bryant, I believe, lives in Edmond, OK, a white-flight bedroom community just north of Oklahoma City. She has an office in a commercial area called Bricktown, in downtown Oklahoma City.

February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Here’s some more from 2010.

February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Hollywood – I see a movie here!! Who is brunette and can sing these days?

Regan DuCasse
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

Brian Brown of NOM, has issued an eBlast that gay people and their supporters have posted and called in death threats to the 14 year old girl who appealed to the legislature of her state to maintain marriage discrimination.

Brian Brown has posted all of the quotes from whoever contacted this girl.
But he’s positing it as if such threats are SUPPORTED by gay people and as if he hasn’t been engaging in some VERY serious anti gay rhetoric that’s threatened gay people and their family security for years.

Hence, once again: BB and the anti gay refuse to differentiate ACTION from REACTION.
As if the indignation and unrestrained anger is UNPROVOKED and more threatening than HIS own behavior has been.

Of course, no ACTUAL anti gay policy supporters have suffered any major assaults, vandalism or threats to their marriages and family security, but to point this out simply reinforces BB’s crusade to BE a victim. The comments seem to be from social media websites and open threads, which are an easy way to make such comments, but actual threats are typically impossible. That is to say these are casual empty utterances, and not CREDIBLE threats. An investigator would know the difference. As far as anyone knows, local law enforcers have as yet to track these as credible.
We also know how the anti gay inflate what a threat is coming from gay people. You’d think a hard glance was a 38. caliber bullet being fired in their estimation.

What compounds the cruelty and cowardice of BB and his actions and statements, is denying HE has done anything to provoke such feeling from gay people.
He refuses to own his words, or engage gay people in just how much pain, indignity, risk and threat colors everything in their lives because of his campaigns and policies.
That there shouldn’t be any reaction from gay people whatsoever, and what reaction there is, is unfair or dangerous.

Criminal behaviorists have a word for it: sociopathic abuse.
It’s more sophisticated and complex than street confrontations.
It’s done through force of government, and public manipulation. But it’s a higher level of bullying and mass hysteria inducement.
And it’s even more dangerous because his reach is so vast through the media.
And he knows it.

I think some profiling of his family life is in order. I’ve seen one picture of him with his wife and seven children. The children range in age from infant to about 11 years old. His wife has spent nearly all their marriage being pregnant AND attending to very young children at the same time. And I’m thinking with his travel and media forum schedule, HE isn’t around very much to organize such a household.
There might be other family that does it, but I doubt he’s GENUINELY that warm and fuzzy a person, and tunes out the noise and demands of so many little ones by not being around the house or in an office where he doesn’t want to be disturbed. Because HE is SO important, dontcha know.

There is no information on whether his wife EVER held a professional job or has a college education.
She is very attractive, but UNSMILING in the family portrait.
BB’s idea of tradition is apparently a quiverful of children and a wife that is publicly silent and willing to make herself vulnerable through constant pregnancy and intense maternal duty.

Some women like her quietly go a little nuts sometimes when having a husband who keeps himself around merely for appearances and impressing the neighbors and his public image, but has a controlling and demanding attitude in private life because being that way around a mousy wife and little children is easy.
His professional life is exclusively to keep gay people from getting married.
It’s not like he’s done anything that requires real guts or higher intelligence.
He cloaks himself in heroism and courage for his work, but how hard is it to keep people from being married who aren’t hurting anyone and don’t want to and who live their lives in commitment and the general welfare anyway.

So he’s using this 14 year old to some form of socio/political advantage of course. As he is the obvious anger and frustration evident in the comments coming from his ‘enemies’.

Brian Brown is going to be just like Anita B’s husband, in about 15 years. Just as bitter, and without anything to show for all his homo hating obsession. And possibly one child (the gay one) who committed suicide or has had a bitterly tough time as well. And like a wife who left him out of her own frustration at his all important cause, at the expense of his own family.

Who wants to bet?

J. Peron
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

February 27th, 2012 | LINK

To the person who advocated for the term “controlatives” (and why does that make me think of ex-lax for some reason?).

Andrew Sullivan, in “Virtually Normal” (1996) calls them “prohibitionists” versus “liberationists” and points out that they are independent from right/left attributions.

For example, the squeamish lefties who prohibit me from taking my well-behaved pooch to any public park in my county, despite the fact that I pay taxes too, because “children might be present” would be “left-wing prohibitionists”. The “right-wing prohibitionists” are a little more visible and obvious.

I just like the differentiation from “liberationists”. :)

Regan DuCasse
February 27th, 2012 | LINK

@Jperon: wow, I just went to the HuffPo link and read the article there.

I had no idea that this went on between AB and her husband. Well, well…
I did study the science of profiling some.
The things that make you go hmmm…

February 29th, 2012 | LINK

He felt utterly entitled to win. There’s no way out of that abyss.

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