President Obama to Bestow Presidential Medal of Freedom on Harvey Milk
Posted on July 31, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
San Francisco – Today President Obama announced that he will honor assassinated civil rights leader Harvey Milk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor recognizing significant contributions to the nation and the world. The President will also honor Senator Edward Kennedy and tennis legend Billie Jean King, an open lesbian and longtime champion for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, with the Medal of Freedom on August 12.
Last year, EQCA sponsored the first bill in the country to officially honor Milk, the nation’s first openly gay man elected to major political office, but the Governor vetoed it. Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced the Harvey Milk Day bill, sponsored by EQCA, again this year. The legislation would require the governor to annually proclaim May 22 as Harvey Milk Day, designating it as a “day of special significance,” to recognize Milk’s work to secure equal protections.
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-rights advocacy organization in California. In the past decade, EQCA has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil-rights protections in the nation. EQCA has passed over 50 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org
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