Harvey Milk Day: “Hope Will Never Be Silent”
The Harvey Milk US postage stamp will be dedicated in just a few hours at The White House and I can’t think of a more heroic figure more deserving.
Today is the day in California when we celebrate “Harvey Milk Day” which commemorates the May 22 birthday of the late civil rights icon.
Had he not been murdered, Harvey would have been 84 today.
He was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. His story, message and legacy are celebrated to give hope and inspire disenfranchised communities.
Milk fought hard against discrimination – including Proposition 6, a ballot initiative that would have made firing gay teachers—and any public school employees who supported gay rights—mandatory. It lost by a million votes. As a supervisor, Milk was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city but just 11 months into his term, he and Mayor George Moscone were murdered at City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White.
Milk was just 48 years old and had been a gay rights activist for less than a decade.
Cleve Jones worked alongside Milk and wrote on his Facebook page today: My friend and mentor, Harvey Milk, was born on this day in 1930. Harvey fought for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He fought for working people, for renters, kids and seniors. He believed in coalitions and understood that our struggle was part of the larger struggle for peace and for social and economic justice. He was a kind and funny man who loved his people and his city. Meeting him was the single most important event of my life.
Long live Harvey Milk!