Granddaughter of Famed Anti-Gay Activist Announces Engagement to Woman

On a recent episode of Slate's One Year podcast, Sarah Green revealed she is engaged to a woman. More than six years after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutional, Green's announcement wouldn't be newsworthy or even particularly notable—except for the fact she is related to one of the most ardently anti-LGBTQ+ activists in United States history: Anita Bryant.

In 1977, Bryant, an Oklahoma-born beauty queen and pop star, founded an organization she named "Save Our Children" in response to the news that Florida's Miami-Dade County had decided to ban employment and housing discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation. Reasoning that "Homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they must recruit," Bryant contended the bill put kids in danger of indoctrination into a biblically sinful lifestyle, according to PBS. "Before I yield to this insidious attack on God and His laws, I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before," she reportedly said.

And Bryant kept that promise. Petitions were written and signed, television ads filmed, and press conferences held. Ultimately, more than 70 percent of Miami-Dade County residents voted to repeal the ban, according to The Advocate. It was reinstated in 1998.

Green is the daughter of Bryant's oldest son with her first husband, Robert Green Jr. In high school and college, Green realized she was attracted to women rather than men. On her 21st birthday, she listened over the phone as Bryant, now 81, sang her "Happy Birthday" and prophesied that a husband was in her future. In a moment of frustration, Green came out.

"She would not stop talking about the right man coming along, and I just snapped and was like, 'I hope that he doesn't come along, because I'm gay, and I don't want a man to come along,'" Green said on the podcast.

When Green's father told Bryant about the engagement, Bryant was reportedly taken aback.

"All at once, her eyes widened, her smile opened, and out came the oddest sound: 'Oh,'" Green's father recounted.

Given Bryant's hard-line beliefs, Green and her fiancé are not sure if they will invite her to the wedding or if she would even want to be invited. Rather than accept Green for who she is, Bryant continues to "pray that Sarah will eventually conform to my mom's idea of what God wants Sarah to be," Green's father said.

"And I think as much as she hopes that I will figure things out and come back to God, I kind of hope that she'll figure things out," Green added.

Newsweek reached out to Anita Bryant Ministries International Inc., for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Gay activists demonstrate against Anita Bryant.
Anita Bryant's granddaughter recently revealed she is engaged to a woman. Gay activists demonstrate against Bryant in San Francisco, California, on June 26, 1977. Archive Photos/Getty Images