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Pride Month: A brief on Harvey Milk

Morgan Jeremy, Reporter

During Pride Month, we like to commemorate LGBT individuals who dedicated their lives to the betterment of the community and the continued fight for equal rights. An ideal example of this is Harvey Milk.

As one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, Harvey Milk was outspoken and dedicated to bridging the gap between the U.S. government and the LGBT community. 

Image courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library via Creative Commons.

During his time serving as San Francisco City-County Supervisor, Milk fought for the rights of the community as well as the rights of other minorities, sponsoring legislations such as the anti-discrimination bill, establishing daycare centers for working mothers, converting military facilities in the city to low-cost housing, and reforming the tax code to attract industry to deserted warehouses and factories.

One of his most significant victories was defeating Proposition 6. This ballot initiative proposed by California Senator, John Briggs, would have proposed the firing of gay teachers in-state public schools. 

At a Pride parade in 1978, Milk famously said, “In the Declaration of Independence it is written: ‘All men are created equal and they are endowed with certain inalienable rights’ […] That’s what America is. No matter how hard you try, you cannot erase those words from the Declaration of Independence…That’s what America is. Love it or leave it.”

Tragically, on Nov. 28, 1978, angered former city supervisor Dan White assassinated both Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Harvey Milk was only 48.

Today, Harvey Milk’s legacy still lives on. There have been multiple movies, books, and even operas made about him. His time in office has helped pave the way for more LGBT officials, mayors, senators, and more. 

The Harvey Milk Foundation, created by his nephew Stuart Milk and former campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, is dedicated to “realizing his vision of equality and authenticity for everyone, everywhere.”

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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