36 years after Harvey Milk’s death, demo questions whether there is more Obama can do to stamp out discrimination, than issue a postage stamp…
By Cathy Kristofferson, May 22, 2014
Today, the White House saw demonstrators lobbying attendees gathered for the first-day-of-issue ceremony of the Harvey Milk postage stamp. Members of the LGBTQ group 1AngryOldLesbian.org urged attendees to insist President Obama sign the long awaited Federal Contractor Executive Order. That one signature would truly honor Harvey Milk, protecting 22% of the U.S. work force while making a great stride towards the goal of full federal equality.
As recently as this past weekend, President Obama said in his International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) statement:
“Tomorrow, as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination – no matter who they are or whom they love.”
We wonder how anyone will “reach their fullest potential” while hiding in the closet to retain their job. Not to mention their home, their health care, their emotional and physical well being, …
It’s time for the President to step up and take the actions he can. With the Congress in gridlock, and his promise to combat their inaction with executive action during his State of the Union speech, signing the Federal Contractor Executive Order is a simple move.
May 22nd is the birthday of Harvey Milk the first openly gay elected official in the state of California. Milk was instrumental in passing some of the earliest gay rights legislation before his assassination in 1978. If he were alive today demonstrators believe he would join with them to demand more for his 84th birthday than a postage stamp.
As we have reported here on OBLOGDEE many times, President Obama, during his 2008 presidential campaign, promised to sign the Executive Order. Earlier this year, Vice President Biden called the lack of job protection for the LGBT community ‘Barbaric“.
While the organizers, 1AngryOldLesbian.org, and demonstrators are indeed delighted over the postage stamp honor bestowed on Harvey Milk along with today’s ceremony and Stuart Milk’s presence, they believe in Harvey’s dream of full un-qualified equality. President Obama should show leadership by taking the executive action he spoke of at the State of The Union to give the LGBT community protection from federal job discrimination. The recent spate of overturned state marriage bans found violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, should give rise to the introduction of an omnibus bill to complete Milk’s dream.
The Harvey Milk poster used at today’s demonstration was done with permission of the illustrator David C. Gardner of FlyingDogStudio.com. The illustration adorns the jacket of “In Celebration of Harvey Milk: Educational Material for Grades 4 through 12”. The organizers thank David for allowing us to add Harvey’s words to his beautiful art, which conveys Harvey’s resolute strength of purpose, emotion and passion we celebrate.
“Hope will never be silent.” Neither will we, nor should you.
Thanks to Sergei Kostin, Leah Brown, Gael Murphy, Laurie Emrich, Malachy Kilbride, Ashley Lopez, David Barrows, Eugene Puryear, David Oswald Elizondo, Robert Moses, Jonathan Miller and all who let their voices be heard today!
Follow on twitter: #HarveyMilkStamp
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