Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 1 - Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk
The first openly gay man elected to public office in California (and the first non-incumbent in the US) in 1977 as a city supervisor in San Francisco, Harvey Milk built a political career on being unabashedly open with his sexuality at a time when gays were facing widespread discrimination. In the less than 11 months Milk spent in office, he sponsored an anti-discrimination bill protecting gay rights and helped defeat Proposition 6, which would have mandated the firing of gay teachers in California public schools. He also fought for gay workers and small business owners, believing social strength started in small neighborhoods. His speeches, often speaking out against LGBT discrimination, are frequently cited for their themes of hope and optimism. Harvey Milk was assassinated on November 27, 1978 by a former co-worker at the height of his popularity, leading to his now being recognized as arguably the most popular LGBT politician of all time.

In 2009, the State of California passed a bill acknowledging May 22 as Harvey Milk Day. He later became one of only a handful of LGBT icons, and the only elected official, to receive a USPS postage stamp in 2014. 

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