Arnold Schwarzenegger | California | Harvey Milk | Mark Leno | News | San Francisco | Sean Penn | Tom Ammiano

Sean Penn, Gay Leaders Push for 'Harvey Milk Day' in California


California Assemblyman Mark Leno kicked off another bid to have May 22, Harvey Milk's birthday, made "a day of special significance" in the state. Last year the day was approved by the legislature only to have it vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger when it reached his desk.

Hmd2 This year, Oscar-winner Sean Penn was on hand along with a host of other public figures, the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

"Tuesday's announcement at Tosca Cafe attracted many leaders of the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, city Supervisors Bevan Dufty and David Campos and city Treasurer Jose Cisneros. Milk 'gave his life so that every elected official up here could hold office,' Leno said. But he added that Penn's powerful portrayal of Milk gives his bill an immediacy it didn't have last year. Penn said his research for the role convinced him that Milk's call for political activism and volunteerism is a message that's important to get into California schools. 'It's not just important but essential with such a heroic and seminal figure as Harvey Milk that we honor him in this way,' the actor said."

Said Penn: "I trust that Gov. Schwarzenegger is an increasingly reasonable man," he said. "And that he understands that passing on prejudices, as surrounds this issue ... is poisonous to future generations."

Added Leno: "If there's one thing Arnold Schwarzenegger understands, it's box office. And Harvey Milk now has box office."

More photos, AFTER THE JUMP...


Cleve Jones, Bevan Dufty, Sean Penn, Mark Leno, Jose Cisneros.

A photo of Milk, his nephew Stuart in the foreground.

Tom Ammiano, who appeared as himself in the film.


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  1. I love the sign that reads "a moral wrong cannot be a civil right". Which "moral wrong" would that be? Hate? Then let's take away your "civil right" of free speech when you spout ignorant, immoral hate. What a petty, little, one-dimensional mind that idiot has. How is he able to walk down the street and hold that sign without a brain? I don't think there's anything in the little bag for this idiot.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Mar 4, 2009 9:30:28 AM

  2. Sean Penn, I've loved you before and now I love you so much more!!

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Mar 4, 2009 10:58:22 AM

  3. I notice there's no photo credit or mention of Equality California in your posting here.
    They are responsible for this legislation for the 2nd year in a row but I guess that when they aren't able to serve as a punching bag, they aren't worth mentioning.

    Posted by: Jason Chen | Mar 4, 2009 1:34:59 PM

  4. JASON: California Equality has done such a muddled job with their mission that I think most people (myself included) just aren't that into them anymore. You're right, they have done some good things. However, they have, and continue to, make strategic mistakes of epic proportions. I do not know any of them personally, so, my comment is not meant to be personal (I've gone there before and meant it) just reflective of the situation.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Mar 4, 2009 2:35:21 PM

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