Schwarzenegger Gives Harvey Milk His Day
Posted on Oct 12, 2009
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has changed his tune about Harvey Milk Day, signing a bill on Monday to make May 22, Milk’s birthday, a day of official commemoration for the slain San Francisco supervisor and gay rights activist. Predictably, not everyone in California seems thrilled with Schwarzenegger’s decision, but Sean Penn no doubt is. —KA
AP via Google News:
The Republican governor vetoed similar legislation a year ago. In the interim, Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in August and was the subject of a movie for which Sean Penn won the Academy Award for best actor.
Penn spoke out in favor of the bill last spring, saying he didn’t want to insult Schwarzenegger’s intelligence by assuming the governor would again oppose creating Harvey Milk Day.
“He has become much more of a symbol of the gay community than he was a year ago because of those things,” Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said. “That may be the difference from last year: he’s really come to symbolize the gay community in California”
In his veto message a year ago, the Republican governor said Milk should be honored locally by those who were most impacted by his contributions. He did not write a signing message this year saying why he flip-flopped.
Wikimedia Commons / Daniel Nicoletta
San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk fills in for Mayor George Moscone for a day in this 1978 photo.