San Francisco - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today to mark the second annual Harvey Milk Day, which is observed on Sunday, May 22, in the state of California:
“Harvey Milk Day honors the life, legacy, and achievements of a leader dedicated to the fundamental American value of equality. It celebrates a victory for LGBT Americans and working families, the disenfranchised and the poor, seniors and workers - the men and women Harvey Milk fought for; the Americans who believed in Harvey's message of hope and strived for the dream of justice and opportunity for all.
“In San Francisco - the birthplace of Harvey Milk's campaign for LGBT rights - we know that this holiday is about more than the heroic life and tragic death of a great man; it is about living up to his cause - the right of LGBT Americans to participate in our society as equals; the responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect.
“The Democratic Congress acted on these values and began realizing this vision. Together, we led the charge for an end to ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell'; for a fully-inclusive hate crimes law; for greater funding for HIV/AIDS care and reauthorization of the Ryan White Act. Inspired by Harvey Milk's example and memory, we opened the doors of progress for every American.
“Today, Harvey Milk's work continues - through the efforts of his nephew, Stuart Milk, and the Harvey Milk Foundation; through the campaigns of activists and advocates in California and across the country; through the fight to ensure that our laws reflect and embody our deepest values. Harvey Milk changed the course of history; now, we will create a future in which the LGBT Community and all Americans achieve true equality.”