Miami, You've Got Style

Florida Elects Its First Openly Gay Lawmaker

Anita Bryant is turning over in her grave — what’s that? still alive? Well can’t win ’em all, but Bryant’s definitely turning over somewhere now that the county in which she led an anti-gay crusade some 35 years ago has elected Florida’s first openly gay state legislator. 

On Tuesday, David Richardson was elected to the Florida House in District 113, representing Dade County’s Miami Beach. In 1977, Bryant and her Save Our Children coalition successfully campaigned to repeal an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in Dade County. The same year, Florida passed a ban on gay adoption.

The anti-discrimination ordinance was reinstated in 1998 and the ban on gay adoption repealed ten years later in 2008.

Considering its checkered history with gay rights, the election of Richardson is a pretty big deal for Florida. And once the closet door is open, it basically falls off the hinges as openly gay candidate Joe Saunders also took House District 49. Saunders, however, still has to face off against his Republican opponent in November.

To celebrate this historic election, here are Miami Beach’s most famous residents extolling the virtues of their fair city:

Photo: David Richardson for State Representative Facebook Page