Forever Stamp honors gay rights activist Harvey Milk

On what would have been his 84th birthday, gay rights icon Harvey Milk was honored both in San Francisco and Washington DC.
It is Harvey Milk Day here in California, honoring the former San Francisco supervisor. And in Washington DC, a ceremony was held to unveil a new stamp honoring the gay and civil rights icon.

San Francisco plans to officially celebrate the release of the stamp sometime next week. But it is already a bestseller in the city's Castro District.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Harvey Milk's nephew, Stuart Milk, were among those on stage at the White House Thursday, applauding the historic move. A Forever Stamp of the late San Francisco supervisor is the first to honor an openly gay politician.

At the Castro neighborhood post office, where Milk used to buy his stamps, more than 10,000 with his smiling face were purchased before noon.

"It's day one and it's Harvey's birthday," said post office customer John Carr. "And who'd a thunk it, we've come a long way."

The U.S. Postal Service called Milk a visionary leader for gay and civil rights. Activists had pushed for years to get that stamp.

"It means an enormous amount to have his legacy recognized by the federal government of the United States of America, I'm very, very proud," said AIDS Memorial Quilt creator and gay rights activist Cleve Jones, who was an aide to Milk.

Milk would have turned 84-years-old on Thursday. When he was a supervisor in 1978, he was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by former colleague, Dan White.

On Thursday at the GLBT History Museum, free tours were offered.

And at a school named for the late leader, students rehearsed for a Harvey Milk Day performance.

"He stood up for a lot of people," said fifth grader Amari Williams. "So thank you very much Harvey Milk, I wish you were still alive."

His legacy will live on with the Forever Stamp.

"That I think is very great because he is stamp-worthy," said fifth grader Zuzu Gehrman McCord. "He is a very important person."
Related Topics:
society gay rights lgbt USPS civil rights politics nancy pelosi San Francisco Washington DC The White House
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