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Sean Penn stars in Milk movie Sean Penn stars in Milk movie

American influence on Dubrovnik’s first gay bar

Written by  May 06, 2022

Harvey Milk, an American politician and activist after whom the first bar for LGBT people in Dubrovnik was named, is an important name in the history of the fight for human rights, especially of homosexuals, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

He was the first homosexual to be elected to public office in California in 1977, and during his short tenure he helped pass a decree against discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing in San Francisco.

U.S. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, and that same year California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger designated May 22, his birthday, as Harvey Milk Day and inducted him into the California Hall of Fame.

His life and tragic death at San Francisco City Hall in 1978, where he was assassinated by Conservative Dan White along with Mayor George Moscone, has inspired many works of art, including the biographical film "Milk" by director Gus Van Santa.

Harvey Milk was played by Sean Penn, who won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film also won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The film, in mass scenes, involved extras who were present at real events, such as a scene showing Milk’s “Speech of Hope” at the 1978 Gay Day Freedom Parade.

In 1973, Milk ran for a seat on the city council, but was defeated. After another failed attempt in 1976, he was elected in 1977, becoming one of the first openly homosexual elected officials in U.S. history.

In November 2021, the U.S. Navy launched the "USNS Harvey Milk," the first U.S. Navy ship named after a homosexual person.

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