Right wing campaigns against Harvey Milk Day in CA
While LGBT legislation at the national level currently seems to stalled by the national healthcare debate, in California, the state Legislature last week passed a spate of LGBT bills. But the most controversial of those bills – to create a day recognizing slain hero Harvey Milk – still faces a veto from the governor.
Some time this week – probably Tuesday – the California Legislature is expected to give its final OK to six LGBT bills – including measures recognizing same sex marriages from out of state, providing greater protections for LGBT prisoners, and allowing transgender people to get a new birth certificate.
But a Harvey Milk Day bill that would acknowledge the legacy of the assassinated San Francisco supervisor still faces a possible veto.
Last year Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill – authored by openly gay state Senator Mark Leno – saying Milk was not well-known enough for such an honor.
Since then however, a movie about Milk’s life earned Academy Awards, President Obama awarded Milk the nation’s highest civilian honor – the Medal of Freedom – and Schwarzenegger himself named Milk to the California Hall of Fame.
And right wing activists certainly know who Milk is. They have mounted an intense public campaign against the bill – calling Milk a liar and a sexual predator.
Equality California Executive director Geoff Kors says this kind of extremism was also used to try to prevent recognition of Martin Luther King. The civil rights hero was called a womanizer and a communist.
Kors told Out Q News, “The Governor must show all Californians — especially youth — that hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated, by signing this bill.”
–Karen Ocamb in West Hollywood