News

Gay rights activist Harvey Milk honored with stamp

Gay rights activist Harvey Milk honored with stamp

HONORED:Representative John Lewis (Ga), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, President of the Harvey Milk Foundation Stuart Milk, Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power (L to R) gesture as the Harvey Milk stamp is unveiled. Photo: Reuters

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials honored slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk on Thursday with the unveiling of a new postage stamp, and called for more work to advance the cause for which he gave his life.

Milk, one of the first openly gay politicians in the United States, was assassinated in 1978, a year after winning election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power noted at the White House event that there still were seven countries where it was legal to execute people for being homosexual.

She added her voice to a White House push for legislation that would ban U.S. workplaces from discrimination based on sexual orientation. She mentioned Michael Sam, who recently became the first openly gay player to be selected in the National Football League Draft.

“We cannot lose sight of how we have yet to go. While we now do live in an age where the National Football League has for the first time drafted an openly gay man, we still live in an age where the NFL can fire him for being gay,” she said.

“Postage stamps will not change that, legislation will.”

The stamp has a black-and-white picture of a smiling Milk and his name in large, capital letters.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, reflected on attending Milk’s funeral after he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were gunned down.

“I thought, is this how it ends?” she said. “But it really was just the beginning of the impact that he … would have. So it’s pretty thrilling for us who knew and loved him and saw his courage first hand.”

She said being on a postage stamp was a privilege reserved for very few and said it was appropriate that Milk was one of them.

Members of Milk’s extended family attended the unveiling of the stamp, which took place in a building next to the White House.

“The United States has come a long way,” Erik Milk, 28, a grand nephew of the slain leader, told Reuters.

“Probably he never would have thought that anything like this, of this magnitude would have ever happened, but you know, all of his efforts paid off in the long run.”

Stuart Milk, president of the Harvey Milk Foundation, said the stamp would help advance the cause of gay rights abroad.

“We have to teach history so that we don’t repeat history, and so this is a great way of doing that,” he said in an interview.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by David Gregorio)

Recent Headlines

11 hours ago in Music

Lady Antebellum to host televised ACM Honors show

ladyantebellum839354649795

Grammy-winning country group Lady Antebellum will host the 10th annual ACM Honors show, which will be televised for the first time.

12 hours ago in Entertainment

Judge rules Bill Cosby must stand trial on sexual assault charges

15-overlay-11

A Pennsylvania judge ordered entertainer Bill Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges over allegations that he drugged and assaulted a woman in 2004.

13 hours ago in Entertainment

Video gaming returns to TV with new league

gamingREUTERS

Competitive video gaming returns to TV with the launch of a 10-week gaming league that will be broadcast on TBS.

14 hours ago in Entertainment

Changes are coming to Twitter

twitterREUTERS

User names and attachments - including photos and videos - will no longer count towards the length of a tweet, but the 140-character limit will stay.

14 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Pink Panther’ star Burt Kwouk dies at 85

burtkwoukREUTERS

He also starred in numerous films, among them three James Bond movies including "Goldfinger."