White House to Honor Gay Officials on Harvey Milk Day

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The event coincides with Harvey Milk Day, a commemoration of the first openly gay elected official’s birthday.

Established in 2011, the White House “Champions of Change” Program regularly spotlights ordinary citizens who are “doing extraordinary things for to their community, their country, and their fellow citizens.”

The list of those to be honored includes the Republican Mayor of Redondo Beach, California, Michael Gin, the first African-American lesbian to serve in a U.S. state legislature, Simone Bell, and the longest serving lesbian state legislator, Karen Clark.

In 2009, President Obama posthumously awarded Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Milk, along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978 by former San Francisco city supervisor Dan White.

Norm Kent, the publisher of SFGN, will represent the newspaper at the White House ceremony, as a guest of Stuart Milk, a Wilton Manors resident, and the founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation.

The 2013 Harvey Milk Champions of Change

  • Simone Bell – Georgia State Representative, Atlanta, GA
  • Angie Buhl O’Donnell – South Dakota State Senator, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Karen Clark – Minnesota State Representative, South Minneapolis, MN
  • Michael A. Gin – Mayor of Redondo Beach, Redondo Beach, CA
  • Kim Coco Iwamoto – Hawaii State Civil Rights Commissioner, Honolulu, HI
  • John Laird – California Secretary of Natural Resources, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Ricardo Lara – California State Senator, Long Beach, CA
  • Kim Painter – Johnson Country Recorder, Iowa City, IA
  • Chris Seelbach – Cincinnati City Council Member, Cincinnati, OH
  • Pat Steadman – Colorado State Senator, Denver, CO
  • Ryan Dixon