The legacy of Harvey Milk

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Stuart Milk (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Stuart Milk doesn’t think his uncle, the slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, would have been surprised by President Obama’s recent declaration of support for gay marriage. But in the year 1978, when Milk was assassinated in City Hall with then-mayor George Moscone, gay marriage wasn’t the point, or even a possibility. Equal rights was the goal, and Milk’s campaign and election as one of the nation’s first openly gay politicians was a milestone in the slow march toward acceptance.

Harvey Milk

We’ve traveled far since his murder, at least in the United States, Stuart Milk told us today when he dropped by the studio on his way to a commemoration of his uncle in West Hollywood. But, he says, while the situation has changed here, life is still oppressive for people in 75 percent of the world.

To advance the cause of equal rights, and to keep his uncle’s memory alive, Stuart Milk co-founded the Harvey Milk Foundation. Now, he travels the world to tell his story and advocate for freedom–and against hate crimes. Tomorrow would have been Harvey Milk’s 82nd birthday, and a few years back, the California legislature declared May 22nd as Harvey Milk Day. Here’s a link to events around southern California, and the world, in his honor.

Here’s what Stuart Milk had to say: