The White House announced today that it will have a dedication ceremony next month to celebrate the debut of the US postage stamp featuring slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk.
The stamp will become available to the public on 22 May which is Harvey Milk Day in California.
In announcing the ceremony, The White House described Milk as ‘a visionary leader … whose achievements gave hope and confidence to the (LGBTI) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination.’
The White House also stated: ‘Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services.’
It will be what is known as a ‘Forever Stamp’ which means that even if postage fees go up, the stamp will still be valid and no additional postage will be needed.
Milk was a Navy veteran, businessman and community activist when he was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1977 – the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California.
He was shot and killed, along with San Francisco mayor George Moscone, on Nov. 27, 1978 by their former colleague on the board, Dan White.
Milk was only in office for 11 months but was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city.
His story was told in the 2008 film Milk which won Academy Awards for Sean Penn (best actor) and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. In 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.