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Gay Hero on Stamp

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The first ever commemorative stamp issue of the Panama City Private Local post will be issued November 27, 2012 to honor Harvey Milk, a true American hero on the 34th Anniversary of his assassination. Politics and gay activism were not his early interests; he was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40, after his experiences in the counterculture of the 1960s. Milk moved from New York City to settle in San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay men to the Castro District. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests, and ran unsuccessfully for political office three times. His theatrical campaign earned him increasing popularity, and milk won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977, part of the broader social changes the city was experiencing.

Milk served 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back. Milk's election was made possible by and was a key component of a shift in San Francisco politics. The assassinations and the ensuing events were the result of continuing ideological conflicts in the city.

The stamps will be issued in a sheet of 10 stamps.

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