As with the previous year, defending homosexuality in education took the spotlight of the 1978 Pride event, which was held on June 25th. California voters faced Proposition 6, which would prohibit gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools and prohibit the use of curricula that presented homosexuality positively. Prop 6 was fueled by Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign and sponsored by California State Senator John Briggs. It became widely known as the Briggs Initiative.
The 1978 parade and the months that followed were focused on defeating the Briggs Initiative in the election. A “Save Our Teachers” movement began statewide on this task and the San Diego group became involved in planning the 1978 parade. Buttons and signs were made for the cause, and organizers worked to convince San Diego voters to cast down the Briggs Initiative. A boycott on Carl’s Jr. was called after the president of the fast-food company donated $5,000 towards the proposition. Jess Jessop and Gloria Johnson, grand marshals from the previous year’s Pride, spoke at a rally in the organ pavilion in September. These efforts were successful and Prop 6 was defeated, a huge victory for the community.
Despite this success, Pride was once again nearly canceled due to a dispute over the Socialist Workers Party’s participation. At one point, some individuals even circulated flyers declaring that Pride was canceled, and others involved responded by picketing bars to let the community know it was indeed still happening. Ultimately the event was a success, with approximately fifteen hundred attendees, despite the mayor’s refusal to proclaim a Gay Pride Week and participate in the parade. Afterwards, the Lesbian/Gay Men’s Pride Alliance was formed to plan future parades.