May 22, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement in recognition of Harvey Milk Day, which is celebrated every year in California in honor of what would have been the 89th birthday of slain civil rights leader and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk:
“On Harvey Milk Day, Americans across the country join the people of California to celebrate a man whose bold vision and unwavering voice for hope, equality and justice transformed our nation. As the first openly LGBTQ person elected to public office in California, Harvey Milk gave the green light to all oppressed, disenfranchised and marginalized Americans to ‘stand up and start to fight’ to take their rightful place as full citizens in our democracy.
“The movement that Harvey Milk began in San Francisco over 40 years ago, continues to be seen in the record number of LGBTQ Americans elected to office across the country. More and more, our city halls, state houses and Congress reflect the beautiful diversity that enriches our communities and strengthens our democracy. This new generation of LGBTQ leaders and activists has worked tirelessly to change history and deliver progress for all Americans by helping pass fully inclusive hate crimes legislation, send the hateful ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy into the dustbin of history and ensure marriage equality for all Americans.
“Harvey Milk Day is about more than honoring his remarkable life or mourning his tragic murder; it is about living up to the example he set for how to live a life of passion and purpose, dedicated to the American ideals of equality, compassion and opportunity. Inspired by Harvey Milk’s enduring legacy and the tireless advocates who have heeded his call to action, last week, House Democrats took the historic step to finally, fully end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans by passing the Equality Act. While more work remains to be done, we will never rest until we have achieved Harvey Milk’s life’s work and fulfilled our founding promise of equality for all.”