Gay rights advocate and actor Neil Patrick Harris, is to introduce a television broadcast of the Harvey Milk biopic, ‘Milk’, in order to mark the first day of Gay Pride month.

USA Network announced that Patrick Harris, the openly gay How I Met your Mother star, will announce the special screening of the 2008 film, which will have limited commercial interruptions.

NBC Universal Cable Entertainment Group Chairman Bonnie Hammer, made the announcement on Thursday.

The film stars Sean Penn as the late Harvey Milk, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won two Oscars. Milk has been described as a martyr for gay rights and a visionary.

The film depicts that, having finally been elected in 1977, he only held his position for 11 months before being assassinated by Dan White, a former colleague who had lost his position in city administration.

“This film series has allowed us to present to audiences some of the most courageous characters of our time. Harvey Milk gave hope to generations of gay and lesbian Americans by encouraging them to live their lives openly and to speak out against the discrimination and prejudice they faced,” Hammer said in a statement. “We are honored to share his story in commemoration of Gay Pride Month.”

The special screening is part of the USA Network’s Characters Unite Quarterly Film Series, the organisers of which said is meant to use “the power of great storytelling to increase awareness of social injustices, stimulate productive dialogue and encourage further progress.”