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Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast honorees named

SAN DIEGO – More than 1,100 San Diegans who support equality and justice will gather in celebration of Harvey Milk's memory at the sold-out fourth annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on Friday, May 25, at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton.

As a featured part of the event, two San Diego leaders who have inspired us in the tradition of Harvey Milk will be honored.

California state Senator Christine Kehoe will be presented with the Harvey Milk Lifetime Leadership Award and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will be presented with the Harvey Milk Equality Award. Kehoe and Sanders have been role models in the ongoing struggle for LGBT equality and justice.

The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast seeks to bring together all San Diegans who support equality and justice in celebration of the life and work of Harvey Milk. Information about the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast is available online at HERE.

Christine Kehoe2012 Harvey Milk Lifetime Leadership Award – California state Senator Christine Kehoe

Senator Christine Kehoe is San Diego's very own Harvey Milk. After years of community activism, in 1993 she was elected to represent San Diego's City Council District Three, becoming San Diego's first openly gay elected official. She went on to serve in the State Assembly, where she was elected Speaker pro Tempore – only the second woman to hold that position. She is the senior most elected LGBT official from San Diego. Currently, she is serving her second term in the State Senate and is termed out of state service in December 2012.

Jerry Sanders2012 Harvey Milk Equality Award – Mayor Jerry Sanders

Originally an opponent of same-sex marriage, on September 19, 2007, Mayor Jerry Sanders took a courageous stand in opposition to his party and publicly announced that his views had changed. He then signed a City Council resolution challenging California's same-sex marriage ban. In an emotional speech, Sanders explained that he had decided, "to do what I think is right and to take a stand on behalf of equality and social justice." Since then he has been a leading advocate in the fight for marriage equality, testifying in favor of same-sex marriage in Perry v. Schwarzenegger in 2010 and currently serving as national co-chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

About Harvey Milk

When he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, Harvey Milk (1930-1978) became one of the first openly gay men to be elected to public office in the United States. On election night, Harvey Milk reminded his supporters: "This is not my victory – it's yours. If a gay man can win, it proves that there is hope for all minorities who are willing to fight." He was assassinated (along with Mayor George Moscone) on Nov. 27, 1978, only eleven months after taking office. Although he did not live to see his dreams fulfilled, the example of his life and his leadership has made him an important national symbol for the struggle for human rights and freedom of expression.

The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, Inc.  (The Center) is the nation's second oldest and third largest LGBT community center. Functioning as the San Diego LGBT community's anchor organization,
The Center is led by a 20-member board of directors, employs over 40 paid staff and utilizes more than 800 community volunteers to achieve its twin goals of promoting LGBT health and human rights. The Center provides direct program services to the many different
facets of the LGBT community, including youth, seniors, families, LGBT Latino community members and their families, and those struggling with HIV. Last year, The Center provided more than 50,000 service visits to San Diego community members, and through its
events, activities and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more.