California Lawmakers Push ‘Harvey Milk Day’ to Honor Slain Homosexual Leader

By Michael W. Chapman | June 26, 2009 | 6:37 PM EDT

( – California lawmakers are pushing a bill to authorize an official day in honor of the late-homosexual activist Harvey Milk. The bill would require California’s public schools to “conduct suitable commemorative exercises” on Harvey Milk Day, which conservative activists see as a means to promote a homosexual agenda to a captive audience in the classroom.  
“This bill is not about ‘gay rights’ or ‘stopping harassment,’” said Randy Thomasson, president of, a pro-family group. “Instead, SB 572 [Harvey Milk Day] is outright promotion of everything Harvey Milk believed in – the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual agenda pushed upon schoolchildren as young as kindergarten, without parental permission.”
The ‘Harvey Milk Day’ bill was introduced in February by State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), an open homosexual, backed by Equality California (EQCA), a pro-homosexual organization.
The bill subsequently passed through two committees in the California Legislature and, on June 18, passed the California State Assembly Education Committee, 6-1. It now faces a vote in the State Assembly in early July and, if it passes, must be signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to become law.
“Harvey Milk risked everything to change the course of history and to advance civil rights for the LGBT community,” said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors in a June 18 statement. “There is no one more deserving of the honor than Harvey.” (LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.)
“Harvey Milk is an inspiration to Californians who believe in fairness and equality. … Harvey Milk gave his life for what he believed in, and with that courage and sacrifice he gave hope to an entire generation of gay and lesbian people whose basic humanity and freedom had been denied and dishonored,” Leno said.
Milk, known as the “Mayor of Castro Street,” was elected to San Francisco’s board of supervisors in 1977 – the first time an openly homosexual man had been elected to a prominent political seat in the country.
One of Milk’s major achievements was in helping to defeat the Briggs Initiative in 1978, which, had it passed, would have barred homosexuals from teaching in California’s public schools. Milk was killed by political opponent Dan White on Nov. 27, 1978.
Last year, Hollywood released the movie “Harvey Milk,” starring Sean Penn in the lead role. The movie won two Academy Awards.
The Harvey Milk Day bill says: “Existing law also designates particular days each year as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions, and encourages those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on those dates. 
“This bill would provide that the Governor proclaim May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day, and would designate that date as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and would encourage those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.”
It further states, as recently amended, that the schools should do the following: “On Harvey Milk Day, exercises remembering the life of Harvey Milk, recognizing his accomplishments, and familiarizing pupils with the contributions he made to this state.”
“Now the bill is specifically requiring that children be familiarized – in other words, taught – about Harvey Milk and his agenda,” Thomasson told “This is beyond mere exercises. This is familiarizing. This is teaching. It’s an indoctrination.”

Gay theme (AP Photo)

In a Fact Sheet on Harvey Milk Day, the EQCA says: “This bill would put California on record as recognizing the social contributions that Harvey Milk made to our nation as a civil rights leader. It would also allow schools to conduct activities that would foster respect for all, and educate students about an important figure who is often omitted from history lessons.”
While the public schools are not mandated to offer activities on Harvey Milk Day under the proposal, “there is pressure on every government school in California to have Harvey Milk Gay Day, so it will happen in most school districts,” said Thomasson.
Most of the school districts in California are run either by liberals or bureaucrats who are afraid of threats, he said, adding that while the threat may not be legal, it would be a political threat.
“In other words, you’re a Democrat school member, we expect this of Democrats or we’re going to kick you out,” said Thomasson, in reference to the potential political intimidation public school teachers and administrators would face to enforce Harvey Milk Day.
The way the proposed law is written, there is no opt-out for students who may have moral or religious objections to the homosexual agenda embodied in Harvey Milk Day.
When people questioned the need for a day to honor Milk at the Assembly Education Committee on June 17, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano called the pro-family witnesses “stupid” and “ignorant” and said their views were “ludicrous,” reported the California Catholic Daily.
“Your ignorance, blaseness, and bold stupidity show the need for such a day of significance [honoring Harvey Milk],” said Ammiano. Leno also criticized the “hate messages of those who spoke in this room today,” in reference to those people who opposed the promotion of the homosexual agenda in the public schools through Harvey Milk Day.
Pro-family advocate Karen England said: “Since when is it bigoted and hateful to share one’s traditional values in a public government hearing? No wonder good, decent people are scared to speak out. They’ve been bullied into silence by the intolerance of those hypocritically preaching tolerance.”
Last year, California’s Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar proposal to establish a Harvey Milk Day, saying it was better to recognize Milk’s importance at “the local level by those who were most impacted by his contributions.”
While this year’s bill is expected to pass the State Assembly, it is unclear whether Schwarzenegger will veto it. According to Thomasson, the governor has been personally lobbied by actor Sean Penn and by one of Milk’s nephews to sign Harvey Milk Day into law.
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman