Statement on Harvey Milk by the Five Living Supervisors Who Have Represented Milk’s District on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

June 7, 2023

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener, Former Senator Mark Leno, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, and former Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Jeff Sheehy — the five living Supervisors who represent or previously represented the Supervisorial district served by Harvey Milk — issued the following statement in response to slanderous, homophobic attacks on Milk by members of the Temecula Valley Unified School District Board of Education:


“We are the five living current or former Supervisors who have represented the district that Harvey Milk represented on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Collectively, we have represented the district for the past 25 years. We unequivocally condemn the vile, bigoted attacks on Harvey Milk by a majority of the members of the Temecula Valley School District Board of Education. We thank the members who did not support this attack.


“Harvey Milk is an inspiration to LGBTQ people everywhere. He sacrificed his own life in service to our community. Harvey’s assassination helped cement the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. His murder reminded all of us that we must never take our community’s safety for granted. Sadly, we are once again experiencing incitement to violence against LGBTQ people. We are deeply concerned about the violence being directed against our community, nationally and here in California. The lies being told about Harvey are part of that incitement.


“Harvey Milk has received highly deserved and broad-based recognition for his inspiring leadership as a change-maker. The United States Postal Service issued a stamp with Harvey’s image on it. The United States Navy named a naval refueling vessel for Harvey. President Obama posthumously awarded Harvey the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The State of California celebrates Harvey’s birthday as a Day of Special Significance. In San Francisco, a public school, a recreation center, a public library, and a terminal at our airport are named after Harvey. New York City has also named a school after him.


“We are all gay men who serve or have served in public office. We have all been subjected to the slanderous lies that are being leveled against Harvey.  In public service, we have all received homophobic threats of violence based on these falsehoods. Despite the advances our community has made, violence and threats of violence are something we and our community have always suffered.  The most shameful aspect of this vicious attack on Harvey’s memory is the use of children in this assault.  Two of us are parents, all of us are uncles, and we can attest to the impact of homophobia and transphobia on the mental health of vulnerable children in California and across the country.  When children’s differences are acknowledged and celebrated, regardless of whether they stem from sexual orientation or gender identity, all children who feel different, who march to a ‘different drummer,’ feel safer and freer to be themselves and achieve their full potential.  


The majority of the Temecula Valley Unified School District Board of Education has decided to risk the health and safety of the children for whom they are responsible by erasing history, making up lies, inciting violence, and instilling fear instead of doing their job to ensure a safe, welcoming, learning environment.  We unequivocally condemn these actions and statements.”