On September 30, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have made the birthday of gay political icon Harvey Milk a statewide "day of significance." According to the Associated Press, the governor said he respected the measure's intent, but thinks Milk's "contributions should continue to be recognized at the local level."
Earlier this year, California State Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), inspired by the filming of the upcoming Gus Van Sant biopic Milk, partnered with Equality California to back a measure for a non-fiscal statewide Harvey Milk holiday to take place every May 22, in honor of his birthday. In press materials for the bill, Leno lauds Milk as “a true American hero" who “gave hope to a generation of gay and lesbian individuals whose basic humanity and freedom had been denied and dishonored,” and who demonstrated “that each one of us possesses the ability to create extraordinary change in our communities, our country and the world.” The bill was approved by the Senate with a 22-13 vote and sent to Gov. Schwarzenegger on August 5. Unfortunately, the governor did not sign the legislation.
To learn more about Harvey Milk and his importance to the LGBT civil rights movement, please read GLAAD's Milk Resource Kit.
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