Harvey Milk Stamp in the Works

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The Harvey Milk Foundation confirmed Oct. 10 that the U.S. Postal Service would honor gay rights icon Harvey Milk with a stamp in honor of his memory and legacy.

Milk, the first openly gay man to hold political office in California, will break new ground once again as the first openly LGBT political official to be featured on a postage stamp, which will be released in 2014.

Stuart Milk, Harvey's nephew, broke the news on Twitter two weeks ago, and while it has been celebrated in the national LGBT media, lunatics from the Liberty Counsel have used the honor to resuscitate a defamatory campaign against Milk, posthumously demonizing him as a pederast unworthy of the honor.

The truth is people like Matt Barber are evil haters not worthy of the recognition they continue to get in media venues. The truth is that the Internet now gives everyone a universal voice and an international blog. It can be used to spew angels or demons.

The right wing is still out there, and we can never become too complacent as we comfortably settle into the social acceptance of homosexuality and our lifestyle. There are still bullies and bruisers that need to be beaten back. Sooner or later, without notice or warning, we can all be called upon to stand naked against the cannon. We must rise to that occasion. No more Matthew Shepherds.

Not every county, city, or community has a gay pride event every other week. The world is bigger than South Florida. Ask Uganda. Look at Kenya. See what Stuart Milk endured this past summer in Lithuania. All our battles are not won. We are as good as we make ourselves.

The enduring message of the Milk Foundation is that ‘Hope Will Never Be Silent.’ The bullets of a false revenge can steal a life, but not sabotage a dream. Harvey Milk represented the best of gay life in America, a courageous political figure fully aware that a lunatic might silent his voice at any moment.

We have seen several lesbian, gay, or bisexual people on stamps over the years—including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Andy Warhol, Walt Whitman, and Tennessee Williams, amongst others- but none that were elected as openly gay figures to a political office.  If the U.S. Postal Service can create stamps for everything from state flowers to Disney characters, Hollywood stars and cartoon figures, we can also certainly honor our real American heroes.


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