Homosexual former San Francisco leader Harvey Milk

SACRAMENTO – Just days after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his selection of homosexual activist Harvey Milk for the California Hall of Fame, the announcement has fueled concerns about passage of a bill requiring a mandatory “gay” day in public schools.

Milk, a homosexual icon considered by some to be “a martyr for gay rights,” was among 13 Californians the governor honored Aug. 25 because they “embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history,” according to the announcement.

But Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, a leading West Coast pro-family organization, said he is disappointed about the governor’s selection of Milk for the honor.

“Harvey Milk was a notorious sexual predator, advocated multiple sexual relationships
at the same time, was a public liar and is in no way a good role model for children,” Thomasson said.

Last year, Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill proclaiming May 22 – Milk’s birthday – a date of “special significance.” The Legislature has been pushing for the governor to allocate one day each year for school children in public institutions to celebrate “Harvey Milk Day.” Upon vetoing the legislation in 2008, the governor argued that Milk’s “contributions should continue to be recognized at the local level by those who were most impacted” during his time as San Francisco supervisor.

But on Aug. 12 this year, President Obama honored Milk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“He was here to recruit us – all of us – to join a movement and change a nation,” Obama said. “For much of his early life, he had silenced himself. In the prime of his life, he was silenced by the act of another. But in the brief time in which he spoke, and ran, and led, his voice stirred the aspirations of millions of people. … His message of hope, hope unashamed, hope unafraid, would not ever be silenced. It was Harvey who said it best: ‘You’ve got to give them hope.'”

Now, legislators are hoping Obama’s announcement and Schwarzenegger’s hall of fame induction will boost chances of the governor signing S.B. 572, yet another bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that would create a “Harvey Milk Day” to be observed in public schools. It has passed the Senate and is now awaiting vote in the Assembly.

SaveCalifornia announced today that after intense pressure of phone calls and e-mails to Democrat legislators, S.B. 572 has temporarily stalled in the Assembly. The bill cannot come back for a vote on the Assembly floor until Monday. The group is asking citizens to call, fax and send e-mails to Schwarzenegger and state legislators through the weekend, urging them to reject the bill.

The bill encourages all California public schools to “conduct suitable commemorative exercises … remembering the life of Harvey Milk and recognizing his accomplishments as well as the contributions he made to this state.”

It requires no parental consent for student participation.

S.B. 572 states, “Perhaps more than any other modern figure, Harvey Milk’s life and political career embody the rise of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement in California, across the nation, and throughout the world.”

“‘Harvey Milk Gay Day’ would teach school kids all about the life and very controversial values of Harvey Milk,” said Thomasson. “Based on the historical record of Milk’s sordid life, this could include teaching elementary and secondary schoolchildren that adult-child homosexual ‘sex’ is OK, having multiple sexual relationships at the same time is OK, and telling a very public lie is good if it ‘gets you ahead.’ This instruction, whether taught directly or indirectly, is not what parents want or children need.”

Thomasson noted that Randy Shilts, a homosexual San Francisco Chronicle reporter, wrote a favorable and telling biography of Milk called “The Mayor of Castro Street.” Thomasson delivered copies of pages in the 1982 book to members of the California Assembly today. The book describes Milk’s sexual relationships with a 16-year-old, a 19-year-old and other young men. The following are some passages in the book:

  • “…sixteen-year-old McKinley was looking for some kind of father figure. … At thirty-three, Milk was launching a new life, though he could hardly have imagined the unlikely direction toward which his new lover would pull him.” (Pages 30-31)
  • “It would be to such boyish-looking men in their late teens and early twenties that Milk would be attracted for the rest of his life.” (Page 24)
  • “Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems.” (Page 180)
  • “Harvey confided one night that at twenty-four, Doug was the oldest man Harvey had ever started an affair with.” (Page 237)

Shilts chronicles Milk’s affairs with teenagers and young men. According to one passage cited by SaveCalifornia, Milk explained to his lover why he should be allowed to have multiple relationships simultaneously:

As homosexuals, we can’t depend on the heterosexual model. … We grew up with the heterosexual model, but we don’t have to follow it. We should be developing our own life-style. There’s no reason why you can’t love more than one person at a time. You don’t have to love them all the same. You love some less, love some more – and always be honest with everybody about where you’re at. They in turn can do the same thing and it can open up a bigger sphere. (Pages 237-238)

Thomasson said the book also reveals that Milk publicly lied for years about the end of his Navy career and had not been kicked out for being homosexual. Milk served as a diving officer aboard the submarine rescue ship, the USS Kittiwake, during the Korean War. He was discharged in 1955 for undisclosed reasons:

He had not suffered this disgrace, he told a later campaign manager, but he knew the story would make good copy. If anyone said something to Harvey about his fondness for such stunts, he would gesture wildly as he launched into a lecture. “Symbols, symbols, symbols,” he insisted. Sure he had not been kicked out of the military, but he had a dozen friends who had their lives muddled by anti-gay purges in the services. The point of the story was to let people know that service people routinely do get kicked out. Besides, he once confided, “Maybe people will read it, feel sorry for me, and then vote for me.” (Pages 78-79)

“The Mayor of Castro Street,” Page 79

A SurveyUSA poll found that 69 percent of Californians object to making Milk’s birthday a statewide “day of significance” while 11 percent remain unsure. Only 19 percent agreed with the plan.

Nonetheless, state legislators are still fighting for the yearly commemoration.

The text of the bill states, “It is the intent of the Legislature that the exercises … be integrated into the regular school program, and be conducted by the school or institution within the amount otherwise budgeted for educational programs.”

“This bill is not about ‘gay rights’ or ‘stopping harassment,'” Thomasson said. “Instead, S.B. 572 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.”

A Schwarzenegger spokesman told the Los Angeles Times the governor does not yet have a position on S.B. 572.

He said, “The governor believes the California Hall of Fame is the right place and an appropriate venue to celebrate Harvey Milk’s contributions.”

However, Schwarzenegger has asked for public feedback on S.B. 572. He posted the following message to his Twitter page just prior to selecting Milk for induction into the California Hall of Fame:

“Some interesting bills coming down. Give me your thoughts on the water package, Harvey Milk Day, and the prison reform bills.”

Concerned individuals may call or fax the governor’s office, Twitter the governor or contact state Assembly members.

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