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San Diego to vote on America’s first Harvey Milk Street

The San Diego City Council will vote Tuesday, May 8, on whether to become the first city in the country to have a street named for slain gay civil-rights hero Harvey Milk.

Milk was elected as San Francisco city supervisor in 1978 and was touted as the world’s first openly gay elected official. He was in office for less than a year before being assassinated by fellow city supervisor Dan White. Milk also served in the U.S. Navy, including a time when he was based in San Diego as a diving instructor.

Milk’s election “symbolized the freedom to live life in full authenticity to millions of LGBT women and men around the world,” Fernando Lopez of San Diego LGBT Pride said in a statement. “Harvey served less than a year in public office before his assassination, but his life profoundly changed a city, state, nation and a global community.  His courage, passion and sense of justice moved the nation and stirred the very core of an oppressed community; bringing forward new hope and a new vision of freedom.”

Two films chronicling Milk’s life won Academy Awards — the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts and the biopic Milk earned Oscars for Sean Penn as best actor and Dustin Lance Black for best screenplay. Black will be Utah Pride Parade’s grand marshal this June.

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