Born 86 years ago today, Harvey Milk was the one of the first openly gay men to hold public office, serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk only held office for 11 months before being assassinated by Dan White, a disgraced former city official with anti-gay views.
"Gone far too soon, Harvey Milk inspired a generation to 'bust down those closet doors' and 'come out,' a vital, life-saving action it would take me 38 years to finally do myself," Todd Whitley of Dallas told local reporters. Whitley organized the formal recognition of Harvey Milk Day in Dallas, which was signed into law by Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Across the country in Granville, Ohio, local Christians are honoring Milk by holding events and hosting speakers to discuss health and rights issues important to the LGBT community.
"I really hope people recognized that there are churches out there concerned about the social rights of the gay and lesbian community," said Pastor Dwight Davidson of the United Church of Granville.
The celebrations come as the U.S. Postal Service rolls out a new forever stamp featuring Milk's iconic likeness. The Postal Service released a statement earlier this week explaining the decision to honor Milk saying, "[his] achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination."
In West Hollywood, Harvey Milk Day will kick off the city's 40-day celebration of Gay Pride Month, from May 22 to June 30.
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