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New push for Harvey Milk Day

May 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is a new push to honor the late gay rights leader Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.Wednesday, a California Senate Committee approved legislation to create Harvey Milk Day. It would be May 22, Milk's birthday.

Sean Penn recently won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the gay rights activist in the move, "Milk."

The actor has become an active supporter for Harvey Milk Day, campaigning with the sponsor of the bill, state Senator Mark Leno.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a nearly identical bill last year, saying Milk should be honored in San Francisco, where he was elected to the Board of Supervisors. But supporters hope the success of the movie "Milk" will change the governor's mind.

Harvey Milk Day would not be a holiday, but students would learn how Milk fought for gay rights.

On November 27, 1978, Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a fellow supervisor who had quit but wanted his job back.

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