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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 25, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 21
Honoring Harvey Milk
Section One
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Honoring Harvey Milk

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

This was a big week for the late Gay icon Harvey Milk. On May 22, millions of people around the world celebrated Milk's birthday. He would have been 82 this year.

The Harvey Milk Foundation also celebrated the third annual Harvey Milk Day, marked with events around the globe commemorating the legacy left by America's first elected openly Gay official.

In San Diego, new street signs were unveiled Tuesday transforming Blaine Avenue, a two-block roadway in the city's Hillcrest neighborhood, into Harvey Milk Street.

City officials believe the street, which contains a handful of houses and apartment complexes, is the first in the country to honor the slain Gay rights leader.

While Milk mainly is associated with San Francisco, where he was a city supervisor, he was stationed in San Diego when he was in the Navy.

'His contributions to the fight for equality and his advocacy for the under-represented continue to shape our community and our country,' said Todd Gloria, an openly Gay member of the San Diego City Council who represents the area. 'Harvey Milk Street will long serve as a symbol of San Diego's respect for all and our celebration of diversity.'

The street leads right to San Diego's LGBT Community Center on Centre Street.

Stuart Milk, a nephew of Harvey, attended the unveiling as did District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Lesbian who is running for mayor of San Diego.

'Harvey Milk's courageous fight for justice and equality for Californians continues to inspire and serves as a source of great pride and strength to the community,' Dumanis said.

The front-runner in the San Diego mayoral race, Carl DeMaio, is one of two openly Gay members of the City Council.

Earlier Tuesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation in honor of Milk's birthday. 'His courage in facing a hostile public and his insistence on being treated the same as anyone else contributed greatly to the advancement of this cause,' Brown said.

'Milk succeeded because he was not just a Gay leader but a champion for his district - a brilliant coalition builder and community organizer who brought the real concerns of ordinary people to City Hall.'

In addition to having a street named after him, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 9-2 in favor of a resolution putting the City on record supporting the christening of a U.S. Navy ship as the USS Harvey Milk.

There was, however, division among supervisors over whether it was a fitting honor. Milk was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the resolution, called it a 'great honor' and said Milk was proud of his military service.

'Harvey Milk's family supports doing this,' Wiener said.

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