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Harvey Milk Day: Learn About The Day That Honors The Legacy Of California’s First Openly Gay Politician

Harvey Milk Day will be celebrated On May 22, in honour of the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in California and a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. Harvey Milk did not just advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community but he was an activist and a proponent of Equal rights for all minorities.

Harvey Milk Day was established on May 22 to commemorate Milk’s birthday by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009. On this day, schools everywhere will pay homage to an extraordinary leader whose courageous work to ending discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community paved the way for many gay and civil rights ordinances passed today.  

Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 after three consecutive losses.  Milk dedicated his life to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Milk staged protests against the unfair treatment and bigotry directed towards the gay and lesbian business owners in the Castro District of San Francisco, and against the Briggs Initiative –  an initiative on the California state ballot that would have banned gays and lesbians from working in California schools – named after a conservative state senator John Briggs

Harvey Milk did not just propagate fair treatment for gays and lesbians, but throughout his term as an activist and as a public servant, he also supported public education, affordable childcare and sought measures to ensure a safe neighbourhood in the city.

In 1978, right before he was assassinated for the advocacy that had provoked many, Milk,  helped the city council pass a gay rights ordinance that protected gay people from being fired from their jobs.

Harvey Milk Day is celebrated by raising the rainbow flag also known as the gay rights flag or donating to the Harvey Milk Foundation – a non-profit organization’s which ensures no one is discriminated against on basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, ability or ethnicity.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 20, 2021 03:10 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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