Celebrating Harvey Milk

FRESNO, Calif. Milk served 11 months on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before he was killed by a former supervisor.

He was the first openly gay man elected to public office.

"Harvey really taught us that by sharing our stories we can inspire hope and we can make a change, so we're sharing our stories today to do just that."

This is the first year California has officially recognized May 22nd as Harvey Milk Day.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill last October, prompting some opposition.

Earlier this week, the Kern High School Board of Trustees voted against commemorating Harvey Milk Day.

"I have been very consistent on my stance of these social issues. Everything from Easter to Christmas in our school system, to I was Kern county chairman for prop 8, for traditional marriage. This is very consistent with my private and personal persona."

Gay rights advocates in the valley say despite conflicting views.....Harvey Milk has inspired them to keep moving forward.

They spent Saturday morning talking to others about their fight to overturn proposition 8...the California state law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Later, they continued the celebration at Einstein Park in Central Fresno.

Jason Scott of Marriage Equality USA says California's first Harvey Milk Day defines progress.......and he expects more in 2012.

"That's really what I'm setting my sights on and working towards is to go to the ballot and let Californians decide in 2012 if they've changed their mind about the issue."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.