By John Jalsevac

SAN FRANCISCO, February 6, 2008 ( – Last Friday, February 1, Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Equality California (EQCA) announced plans to introduce a measure that would formally establish a non-fiscal state holiday to commemorate gay-activist Harvey Milk. If passed, the bill would see the holiday take place on the anniversary of Milk’s birth, May 22.

“Harvey Milk was a true American hero,” said Assemblyman Leno. “He gave hope to a generation of gay and lesbian individuals whose basic humanity and freedom had been denied and dishonored. His history is our history, and a day in his honor will preserve his legacy for generations to come.”
  Milk was elected as San Francisco city supervisor in 1977, thereby becoming, according to Time magazine, the first openly gay man elected into a “substantial” political office “in the history of the planet.”

While in office Milk focused his energies on pro-homosexual advocacy, uniting the homosexual community in San Francisco into a formidable force that pushed for the acceptance of sodomy as a normal, healthy lifestyle choice.

Time Magazine’s mini-biography of Milk relates how while in office as supervisor, Milk sponsored only two laws – one against homosexual discrimination, and the second forcing dog owners to clean up after their dogs. Even the second law, however, had a pro-homosexual focus, since Milk’s theatrical approach to sponsoring the law (he staged a public walk through a park, at the end of which he pretended to accidentally step in dog droppings) garnered him national attention. As he said at the time, “All over the country, they’re reading about me, and the story doesn’t center on me being gay. It’s just about a gay person who is doing his job.”

The openly homosexual city counselor burst on the international scene when he was murdered, along with San Francisco Mayor George Mascone, in November 1978, by a disgruntled former city counselor.  Murderer Dan White had recently resigned from office as city supervisor, but then had later changed his mind, and requested to be reinstated. Mayor Mascone considered White’s request, but ultimately decided, partly on account of lobbying against White by Milk, not to reinstate him.

On November 27, 1978, White went to the mayor’s office to ask again to be reinstated as city supervisor, and when the mayor refused, White shot him in the head, and then went to Milk’s office and fatally shot him as well.

After Milk’s murder, pro-homosexual activists claimed that Milk was a victim of “homophobia,” claiming that White’s motivation for killing Milk was not so much his being refused office, but his hatred for homosexuality. Milk was quickly made into a martyr for the homosexual cause, which effort was helped significantly by the fact that Milk had left behind a tape of his final words, to be played in the instance of his assassination because of his pro-homosexual advocacy.

Besides the effort to introduce a holiday commemorating Milk, there is currently a film in production, which will recount his life. A-list Hollywood actor Sean Penn is slated to play Milk.

See related coverage:

Lawsuit Challenges Nation’s First Homosexual Public School As Unlawful

Teens at New York School All-Gay High School Arrested for Robbery and Prostitution