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Updated Edition, In Anita's Wake: The Irrational War on Florida's Gay Families
For over 3 decades, the State of Florida irrationally waged a war on gay families by denying parents the right to adopt their children.
It started in 1977 when Anita Bryant led a crusade against the gay community in Miami, Florida. Her Baptist church group, Save Our Children, used irrational, religion-fueled bigotry to force a repeal of a human rights ordinance that offered job and housing protections to gay citizens of Dade County. Anita's hysteria, which bloomed into a national anti-gay movement, also prompted the Florida Legislature to pass a law banning all gay people from adopting children. That law would be enforced for the next 33 years.
In 2008 & 2010, two Florida circuit court judges ruled the ban unconstitutional and awarded adoptions to gay parents Martin Gill and Vanessa Alenier. But the state appealed both rulings even though it was undisputed that both Gill and Alenier were ideal parents and that it was in the children's best interests to be adopted by them. Attorney General Bill McCollum hired Dr. George Rekers, a Baptist preacher and cofounder of the virulently anti-gay group Family Research Council, to serve as the state's expert witness for why the adoption ban should be preserved. The court found that Rekers' testimony was biased and not credible. The Miami New Times found that Rekers was a hypocritical fraud when they discovered him in the company of a male escort.
In September 2010, the 3rd District Court of Appeal affirmed that the 33 year old ban was unconstitutional and upheld Martin Gill's adoption of his boys. The state and attorney general decided not to appeal the ruling and immediately stopped enforcing the anti-gay statute.
But in November 2010, Florida elected the most conservative Legislature in state history, and a new governor opposed to adoption and foster parent privileges for gays and lesbians. The irrational war on Florida's gay families goes on...
Featuring Martin Gill, Vanessa & Melanie Alenier, Cynthia Nixon, Fmr. Rep. Elaine Bloom, Rep. Scott Randolph, Sen. Dan Gelber, Stuart Milk and many more.
NTSC / English / Stereo / 49 minutes
(This documentary was originally released in August 2010 with a running time of 70 minutes.
It was revised following appellate court rulings and the Nov. 2010 elections.)
Global Peace Film Festival 2010
Tallahassee Film Festival 2011