Mayor Murray released the following statement today about Harvey Milk Day:
“Today is Harvey Milk Day. Born this day in 1930, Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in any major U.S. city. In 1977, he was elected to serve on the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and on January 9, 1978, when he was inaugurated, he became San Francisco’s first openly gay officer.
Tragically, Milk and Mayor Mascone were assassinated on November 27, 1978 by their colleague, Supervisor Dan White. Prior to Milk’s death, he recorded a message in response to several death threats he had received: ‘If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet shatter every closet door.’
As Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, I am grateful for Milk’s pioneering spirit and courage. Leaders like him and my friend Cal Anderson, who was the first openly gay elected official in Washington State, forged the way for me to hold this office today.
Milk’s call to ‘come out’ inspired millions of conversations nationwide that eventually lead to the adoption of marriage equality at the state level we’re seeing today.
And while we remember Milk for his courage on issues of equality, he was also a champion of issues we continue to fight for right here in Seattle: education, racial equality and access to the political process for everyone regardless of their economic status.
Yes, we have a lot to remember and celebrate on this day.”