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Gay civil rights hero Harvey Milk celebrated on 87th anniversary of his birth

Gay civil rights hero Harvey Milk celebrated on 87th anniversary of his birth

Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk was born 87 years ago today.

The slain gay civil rights hero’s life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet 39 years ago but he is not forgotten.

‘Harvey gave a green light to the voiceless, inspiring #LGBT leaders who continue to spread his message of hope to this day,’ US House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted today.

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 and in California, his birthday is marked each year with Harvey Milk Day – a day to celebrate Milk’s story, message and legacy to give hope and inspire disenfranchised communities.