The couple noted that each of the 13 inductees “embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”
The Milk honor, however, comes amidst a debate surrounding a new state bill that would honor the slain supervisor by deeming May 22 as ‘Milk Day’ in the Golden State. The Associated Press writes that the bill “would designate Milk’s birthday, May 22, as a ‘day of special significance,’ but not an official holiday.” That bill awaits approval from the CA Assembly before reaching the Governor’s desk.
But as The Sacramento Bee reports, it was just last year that Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed a nearly identical bill because it would be more appropriate, he believed, to honor Milk on a local level.
The governor’s decision to include Milk in the state’s Hall of Fame, however, may imply that Mr. Schwarzenegger now recognizes Milk as a much more influential figure than he had first thought.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Francisco Castillo clarified in Tuesday’s Sacramento Bee that “The governor does recognize the positive impact that Harvey Milk had globally and nationally.”
Milk’s legacy recently garnered national attention after President Barack Obama honored the LGBT rights stalwart with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – an award bestowed on individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural, or other significant public or private endeavors. The president noted that Milk’s “voice stirred the aspirations of millions of people.”
In any case, the governor’s office said no decisions have been made regarding the new bill. In fact, Schwarzenegger has taken to his twitter page to ask the public’s opinion on Harvey Milk Day.
GLAAD will continue to share the media’s coverage of Harvey Milk Day. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org