Swag Tuesday: Ending Anita

We have a very special Swag Tuesday today – three autographed copies of Ending Anita, our own Father Tony Adams’ recounting of how two Key West bartenders become the first couple in Florida to win a same-sex marriage lawsuit. From the book’s Amazon description:

ENDING ANITA is the story of Aaron Huntsman and Lee Jones, the two gay, outspoken and impatient blue-collar Key West bartenders with no experience as activists who won gay marriage for Florida.

Any online search for information about gay marriage (marriage equality) in Florida will get you the dates, court cases and rulings, but ENDING ANITA introduces you to the people behind the headlines. In addition to the Florida plaintiffs Aaron and Lee, you will meet the straight, Republican Roman Catholic mother who became their brilliant lawyer and then their friend. You will meet the gay judge who was slated to hear their case but was suspiciously chased off the bench because of his profile on a gay hook-up site. You will meet the gay former Marine with experience in the Hollywood film industry who helped guide them through the media scrutiny that almost drowned them during their suit. You will meet the close-knit circle of loyal and protective Conch (Key West) friends who stood with Aaron and Lee in their battle for justice.

ENDING ANITA is also about the fact that most of the men at the center of Aaron and Lee’s case are HIV-positive. They courageously chose to disclose rather than hide this fact. Because of their openness and candor, the stigma of HIV/AIDS is one step closer to elimination. They could have chosen to live their lives at the perpetual Happy Hour that is Key West. Instead, they went to work, changing the course of history and making life in Florida better for everyone.

Gay marriage (marriage equality) is now the law of the land thanks to the Supreme Court. That victory was actually earned by LGBT activists on the state-level where they fought against anti-gay laws treating them as second-class citizens. Florida in particular was beset by homophobic laws spawned by Anita Bryant’s Miami-based anti-gay fear mongering of 1977. Florida public sentiment has now changed in favor of LGBT rights, but anti-gay politicians did not want those laws dropped.

Aaron and Lee, with no political or legal experience, were told they were in over their heads. This did not stop them.

Gay visibility is at the root of LGBT acceptance. A life in the closet never won a single battle for equality. The Stonewall riots of 1969 mobilized the LGBT community, forced the world to see them clearly and sent them into the streets demanding justice. Stonewall ignited the first generation of activists who paved the way for marriage equality.

Aaron and Lee were born post-Stonewall! Despite several decades of LGBT progress, when they went to their County Clerk’s office to request a marriage license, they were declined. ENDING ANITA is the story of their winning fight against that discrimination.

For students of Florida history, ENDING ANITA contains a marriage equality timeline, a history of gay Florida and a history of gay Key West. The addenda include the Huntsman v. Heavilin suit, the court transcript of the hearing and the text of Judge Garcia’s ruling.

All three copies are signed by Tony, Aaron and Lee. Winners will be chosen randomly on Friday from the comments on this post. If you are not registered with Disqus, please include an email address in your comment. Ending Anita is on sale now at Amazon.

PHOTOS: Last week we all gathered in Key West for the book launch.endingending1

  • Mark

    Well…I guess change really can happen with just 2 voices when you want something bad enough. All kinds of good on them!! And major kudos to everyone involved!

  • JW Swift

    Yes, please!

  • OCW

    Would love to read it! (and will, one way or another)

    • JoeMyGod

      Hi OCW, you have been randomly selected as a winner of “Ending Anita”.

      Please respond at [email protected] with your mailing address.

      • OCW

        yay, shall do!

  • Cousin Bleh

    I’m amused that people who bought this book on Amazon also bought Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

  • m_lp_ql_m

    Can’t wait for the book Ending Trump.

    • safari

      If the spider-people read books, I guess…

      • Roxannejchampion

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj236d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive if you don’t check it
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash236DigitalWebGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj236d:….,….

      • Annekfreeman

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj318d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash308MediaPointGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj318d:….,….

    • ericpayne

      The only way to end Trump now is via impeachment. But since impeachment requires authorization from the House, and a “trial” in the Senate, that’s not likely to happen, at least during the first two years of DJT’s reign. After the mid-terms… who knows?… but during those first two years, DJT is going to get carte blanche from the GOP-controlled Houses of Congress; that’s why I used the descriptor “reign.” DJT has been acting as if “Presidency” = “Monarchy.” There’s no reason for him, currently, to change that behavior.

      • Bad Tom

        No. There is another way.

        Surviving for 4 to 8 years.
        It can be done. It has been done.
        We have no choice.

      • Gerry Fisher

        My prediction is that the congressional Republicans will use him for at least a year to extract what they want. Then they’ll begin fighting with him just as popular opinion really begins to sour. As they impeach him, they’ll position themselves as heroes, ridding the country of a menace. (“Who could have possibly known he’d get this bad?!! We were just honoring the will of the people, giving him a chance.”) Then we get Pence.

        That’s the plan, anyway. I’m sure they think they can control and use this dumpster fire. We’ll see if the adjacent buildings catch fire and take down the entire block, maybe even the whole city.

    • deaconrta

      “Can’t wait for the book Ending Trump”
      If I could, I would give this a million upvotes!

  • rockymtranger

    It was stories like this that gave us hope that equality was still achievable in our lifetime, but I never thought it would happen as soon as it did.

  • rainbowharold

    This book sounds great!

  • HomerTh

    If I don’t win, I will be buying a copy!

  • Michael R
  • AtticusP

    Anita Bryant is 76 years old and living in Edmond Oklahoma.

    I guess Billy Joel was right, Virginia.

    • safari

      Oklahoma sounds right. It’s a state filled with insane theocrats.

      • Silver Badger

        One of many, unfortunately.

    • Cousin Bleh

      That old crone is still alive?

    • Dwight Williamson

      Only the good die young!

    • Dazzer

      All those tornadoes in Oklahoma and not one of them has hit her? Damn, we need to improve our weather-disaster powers. I’ll put it on the next Gay Agenda.

    • William
  • David Milley

    Remembering those days, maybe returning to them next year. This book looks well worth reading.

  • olandp

    I’m in. Anita Bryant was just another con-artist running a grift.

    • JoeMyGod

      Hi Olandp, you have been randomly selected as a winner of “Ending Anita”.

      Please respond at [email protected] with your mailing address.

      • olandp

        OJMG I won! OJMG OJMG OJMG

  • houstonray

    Enter me! Enter me! Wait, that didn’t sound right. You know what I mean. 🙂

    • RNegron

      It sounded perfectly right to me!

  • Patrick Kellogg

    Love Swag Tuesday, even though I’ve never won anything on a Swag Tuesday (grin)

    • Silver Badger

      Me either too. Oh well.

  • Silver Badger

    The bad old days may be coming back, but it won’t be a walk in the park the hater’s think it will.

    • EweTaw

      Now that I’m armed and ready it won’t.

      • Snarkaholic

        Do you have enough glitter cartridges?

    • Robincho

      If more than one day = days (as you state correctly), why do you then state that more than one hater = hater’s?…

      • Silver Badger

        I misused the apostrophe. You are right, It should have been haters.

  • RNegron

    Many Happy Years to the lovely couple!

  • ChrisInKansas

    Would love to read it!

    • JoeMyGod

      Hi Chris, you have been randomly selected as a winner of “Ending Anita”.

      Please respond at [email protected] with your mailing address.

  • EqualityForAll

    If you can solve this puzzle, you’ll be that much closer to winning the prize: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/36655f2ca756cd8b848b4ee209c5c268b136ce4570b9cdd241c57b166d16d179.jpg

    • Ben in Oakland

      The antichrist?

    • Jerry

      240…but I actually the Pence + Kellyanne X Trump = 0

      • OdieDenCO

        it’s a null function no matter how you mix the talking heads

      • IamM

        I concur. Let’s demand a recount.

    • That_Looks_Delicious


      What do I win? A Canadian passport?

      • EqualityForAll

        No. A date with KellyAnne.

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Hmm, … 88 is the numerical key, but perhaps it has to be interpreted “symbolically”?

        • safari

          88 isn’t prime. Shame.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Not prime, but it factors big in Nazi circles.

      • Todd20036

        It’s 88 alright. Also known as HH or Heil Hitler.

        Which is the hidden message given what these losers stand for.

      • Robincho

        Not this time, sadly. But keep entering!…

    • Craig S

      Oh Honey…. not to worry… Trump is getting rid the metric system

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Answer = The unholy trinity??

    • OdieDenCO

      come on! conway is only a 3 no way is she a 4

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      So basically the riddle is what do you get if Mike Pence mated with Donnie and KellyAnne’s secret lovechild??

    • m_lp_ql_m

      No one who voted for them can.

    • Acronym Jim

      Whatever the answer is, I’m sure it’s negative.

    • Silver Badger

      If three trumps = 60, one would be 20.
      36 – 20 = 16 / 2 = 8
      16 – 8 = 8 / 2 = 4
      8 + 4 = 12 x 20 = 240

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Nope! Multiplication always has precedence over addition. Remember PEMDAS.
        So your last equation must be:
        8 + (4*20) = 88

        • Silver Badger

          OK. Thanks for the correction. I will try to remember.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Just joined the Dino scouts.
            Working on my Math-Nazi badge!!

        • Robincho

          From the acronymically challenged among us who can’t even Remember The Maine!™, let alone PEMDAS:

          Who gave [8 + (4×20)] presidents over [(8+4) x 20]?…

          • DaveW

            Those acronyms were created to help the dumbed down society do math. THey are not real math rules. We we’re never taught them at MIT anyway. You need parentheses. 88 and 240 are both correct. Without parentheses you are free to solve it either way and a proper test scorer would allow both answers. (but wouldn’t create the question in the first place)

        • DaveW

          That’s a made up rule. You need parentheses.

    • Dazzer


      An age I remember vaguely.when it had an AD in front of it

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        Nope! You added all three. But the last operator is a multiplication.
        We need one Pence plus one Conway times a Trump.

        • Dazzer

          Agreed – I went back and changed it before your reply. I realised my mistake – but as it’s 2.33 am over here – I wasn’t thinking clearly the first time round.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            Those three ugly mugs in the puzzle are enough to disorient anyone regardless of the time!

          • Dazzer

            You’re such a nice person! I want you to win the lottery before Christmas – nothing less than a million bucks can repay you for making me feel better.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            {Blushes, wags little green dino tail.}

        • Robincho

          The last operator I paid any attention to was Ernestine…

        • DaveW

          Wrong. It’s ambiguous

    • zhera

      Worst threesome infinity.

    • DaveW

      Or 240. You need parentheses.

    • Beagle

      My nightmares.

    • karmanot
  • sfbob

    Sounds like a great read! Count me in.

  • EweTaw

    WAY OFF TOPIC: Anyone besides me notice how much Hardball on MSNBC has improved since Joy Reid took over for that Chris person while he’s on extended holiday vacation? It’s down right watchable! And she’s so damn cool!

    • another_steve

      Oh for sure.

      Joy Reid is one of their best and Chris Matthews is one of their worst.

      • Lazycrockett

        She basically shut down Micheal Steele last week and it was amazing. I was surprised he was back on so quickly.

        • Robincho

          Even with stiff competition from his successor Rancid Pubis, they don’t come no stupider than Steele…

          • another_steve

            Steele, during the Republican primary and then the general campaign, was making some sense. He was trying to represent the “sane wing” of the Republican Party (if there is in fact such a thing).

            Now, with a Republican President and Republican Cabinet about to make hundreds and hundreds of political appointments, he seems to have stepped back from the sanity thing, shall we say.

            He probably sees an “in” for himself in the Trump Administration and wants to come across now as a good and loyal Republican lackey.

    • boobert

      I believe matthews is shooting for a white house spot, especially the way he kisses up to kellyanne.

    • Robincho

      I’m reidin’ what you’re sayin’, brotato chip. Reidin’ it with great joy!…

    • Gerry Fisher

      Chris Matthews is insufferable

  • mikeinrkfd

    Thanks to all that brought and followed thru with the suit!

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    For some reason, Florida orange juice still makes this little green dino wanna upchuck.

  • Wayne W

    I love the title…yes please.
    [email protected]

  • Fafnir the thurifer

    This is some verse of my composition, using the double dactyl format.
    (see Wikipedia for a description of how it works: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_dactyl ) /Joan

    Orange juice, Orange juice,
    Spokesperson Bryant’s been
    Very concerned with our
    Souls’ moral state.

    She defines sin in terms
    Heterosexual –
    What ever happened to
    Bias and hate?

  • Dazzer

    There’s something wonderful about livingin an age when ordinary people can do extraordinary things for an entire class of people. In a time of Trump, people like this gives one hope for the future.

  • Des Lee

    Glad everything worked out and can’t wait to read the book

    • Dazzer

      It’ll probably never get over to a UK publisher, so I’ll probably never get a chance to read it. I really ought to insist that anyone who wins the book provides a book report so I can live vicariously through them.

      • Tony Adams

        Its on Amazon International I have a friend in London who just got his.

        • Dazzer

          OK. Thanks for that 🙂

          I’ll look out for it, then.

          • William

            Add it to the list of things required for American house guests to bring.
            My friend in Lincolnshire asks for the strangest things. One time it was Lucky Charms breakfast cereal.

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          Hey! That name looks familiar!!

        • zhera

          Congrats on your book, Father Tony!

  • Dramphooey

    Looks like a great book. I hope I win!

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    I also want to salute all of the courageous attorneys who took what seemed like very long-shot cases and won. They believed in the rightness of the cause, and they took on a judicial system that was stacked against a favorable ruling on marriage equality.

    People say bad things about lawyers, but they are the ones who have been at the forefront of every major civil rights victory that’s been achieved in this nation.

  • Max_1

    O/T: (he,he… that’s like 50% of the time for me 😛 )

    A good inside view of what the next four years will welcome…

    • Max_1

      Well shit!
      Either my connection is shit…
      Or Twitter is fucked up, again…
      Or Dicsus is screwed up, as always…

      Anyway, it’s a short video featuring a KK family, the rise of racism and breaking the pattern. Here’s the link if it didn’t show above.


      • Sam_Handwich

        you broke the internets!

        • Max_1

          Oh fucks… I did.
          On both Google Chrome AND eExplorer.

          Damn, I am good… hehehe.

          edit: hacked…
          https://twitter .com/i/web/status/811025198753415169

          • Max_1
          • Sam_Handwich

            they seem nice

          • Max_1

            As nice as thap gap between his teeth. I fear for his daughter. If she doesn’t bend to her father… What will happen? What will her mother permit? She never looked comfortable in the video around her father or discussing her father’s beliefs. Grimice… then the tears said the rest. That’s the face of Trump’s America right there.

          • TimCA

            Where you see just an lowly, ordinary racist, the GOP sees a future congressman or cabinet pick.

            Today’s Republican Party-giving hope to the marginalized!


          • Jim Gallagher-Barker

            Almost as nice as those duck hunters they used to have on. Wish A&E would have thought twice, or even three times, about airing / commissioning this show. Whether or not it gives insight to the struggles of people trying to break free of such a despicable movement, there is going to be a certain percentage of the population who will revel in the perceived glorification of the KKK on a national cable network. It’s a further toe into the mainstream for the KKK & one more step toward A&E becoming PE Trump’s favorite network.

          • Max_1

            So anyways, I’ve always wondered why the KKK wasn’t made illegal by the Feds… And why the confederate flag wasn’t outlawed.

  • Diana Flynn

    would love a signed copy of this!

  • medaka

    Count me in!!

    • TuuxKabin

      I/we win, you get. After we’ve read it of course.

      Thank you Joe! Shelly too.

  • licuado de platano

    I never heard the “conch” reference before.

  • Homo Erectus

    As a gay Floridian I need this book to validate my life!

  • bmoore4026

    Time to be a downer. How many people think that the abolishing of gay marriage country wide is going to be the new GOP’s first order of business?

    • KnownDonorDad

      Pence will surely want to see FADA passed. There has to be ire raised over FADA that makes HB2 look like a minor dust-up. At the risk of disagreeing with Matt Baume, I think this is a bigger threat than waiting for a conflict with an unconstitutional state law to work its way to SCOTUS – where, if the Democrats have any spine, they’ll block anything but a proper compromise candidate from Trump.

  • Max_1
  • Todd20036

    I’d love this.

    I just hope Trump doesn’t bring “anita” back

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      The drumpanzees are already working on it. We’d better be ready for them.

  • Lazycrockett
    • Arrowhead74

      We MUST do better than a day with out the boob tube. I can hear my grandmother in MY SOUL telling me that. My protest to this sham job will be eternal.

    • William

      At 12:00 noon on January 20, 2017, all channels will broadcast the tone that scrambles viewers brains. Anyone hearing it will be a loyal Trump voter forever.

  • madknits

    Sign me up. I love a happy ending.
    [email protected]

  • EqualityForAll

    On a more serious note than my last post, I have to say that I would love to get a copy of this book. Not that it makes any difference, but I have a story to share as well.

    I’m a Vietnam Veteran who was married to a woman at one time. We had three sons. In 1986 I met a guy and, shortly thereafter, my wife and I divorced. The boys came to live with me and my then boyfriend to raise, because the ex-wife had too much on her plate at the time. I never begrudged her for that. In fact, I’m still friends with her and the boys grew up to become responsible adults in their own right. It worked out for the best for all concerned.

    My boyfriend of more than 30 years and I are now married. I wrote an email to President Obama in October because I wanted to thank him for all that he’s done for our LGBT community and, in particular, what he’s done for me as a gay man and a veteran. My spouse and I are now happily married. We’re both enjoying the many benefits of any married couple, including the veterans benefits that I earned from my military service. Without Obama, none of this would have ever been possible.

    Almost two weeks ago I received a large, registered-mail envelope with a return address from the White House. I never really expected any kind of acknowledgement from Obama – I simply wanted to let him know how his efforts have really effected my life (and so many others) in such a positive way. What was in the envelope was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received. I will cherish these items for as long as I live. Here’s a link to what I received. Is this not the coolest thing ever?? http://lenbradshaw.com/ObamaLetters.pdf

    • Arrowhead74

      This post is a great nightcap! to a bleak day. Thanks for that. New therapy question this week… How to handle 4 years of “bumpy road” with a few undetachable relationships. I see signs of cult worship that just scare the ELDOOM!<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> Thats some Illuminati shit there.

    • N649309 PG70

      Thank you so much for sharing.

    • BearEyes

      How wonderful – on many accounts

  • Jim Gallagher-Barker

    jimskater @ cox dot net

    1/2 of one of the 18K couples married in California in 2008.

  • Roxannejchampion

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj236d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive if you don’t check it
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash236DigitalWebGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj236d:….,…….

  • JCF

    OT: so this happened today, in President-FeckingElectoralCollege Drumpf’s America (Drumpfer-than-Drumpf Kentucky) —

    [Language NSFW]


    But “Yes, PLEASE!” to the book: a tonic to racist @ssholery like the above!

    • fuzzybits

      She’s sorry she feels that way? Bitch needs a boot in her ass.

    • Cackalaquiano

      Bet she shows up to church each Sunday singing songs about loving Jesus and such…

      • JT

        “I luv jeebus and hate everyone else. But that’s all right because jeebus luvs me back for mindlessly sucking up every chance I get.”

  • fuzzybits
    • William

      Do you have that ‘Not so Fresh’ feeling?

  • Art

    That sounds like a wonderful book!

  • William

    OT – Texas is kicking Planned Parenthood out of the Texas Medicaid program. Funding will be cut off in 30 days. Expect lawsuits to be filed soon.


  • Blake J Butler

    Damn rough rollercoaster of a year , now i got to put up the fight for my life in 2017 to deal with these fascist assholes that are coming in. Vengeance shall be mine.


  • Robincho

    I’m with Disqus, but there’s been a lot of Disqus Throwing (Up) lately. Therefore, I may be found thusly: sfsland at gmail dot com

    *anxiously readies space on bookshelf for Ending Anita*

  • deaconrta

    Love you, Joe!

  • I would love to read it. What an amazing story.

  • I guess I post to enter?

    Definitely gonna pick this book up.

  • Jeremiah
  • Oikos
    • JT

      Can’t get enough of that.

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Well done! And I heard that Anita Bryant was a bad tipper, too. Thank you.

  • BearEyes

    looks like a good read.

  • Congratulations to Aaron and Lee and to Father Tony on the publication of this book! They and all of us will have to become activists standing in opposition to the full-scale attack on pro-LGBT rulings, laws, executive orders, etc. that Trump and his ultra-conservative administration have promised to launch against us.
    [email protected]

    • Tony Adams

      Hello Will! The activism we embrace is new and different. Aaron and Lee are good examples of outsiders who succeeded with new activism. No one is quite ready to say that our traditional LGBT advocacy organizations are close to expiration unless they spin some kind of cocoon for themselves and emerge transformed and ready to fly virally. Meanwhile they continue to ask us for money. Constantly. They will not like this book.

  • djcoastermark

    This is a book I would enjoy reading.

  • kanehau

    What are the odds (currently at 2%)?

  • Chris Davis

    Anita Bryant has had a sad life since her activism – a nasty divorce, multiple bankruptcies, shunning from the “Christian” community (because of the divorce), career failure. She deserved all of it.

    • William

      Don’t forget, some twisted person stole her yard sculpture.

  • Rick Zajac

    I love stories like this. In the face of adversity, when everyone is saying it won’t work, it can’t happen, you can’t do it. They persevered and never gave up. Absolutely wonderful.