Harvey Milk controversy

Harvey MilkFremont school board trustees have been getting flak this week for tabling a resolution recognizing Harvey Milk Day, in honor of California’s first openly gay elected official.

Community members I’ve heard from personally have all said they’re disappointed in the board’s action. But I’ve also been told that trustees have gotten e-mails from people who support the decision.

For the record, trustees Lara York and Bryan Gebhardt wanted to move forward with voting on the resolution but Larry Sweeney, Lily Mei and Ivy Wu wanted it tabled. To read their reasons, click here.

The board is scheduled to vote on the resolution May 26 — four days after the state’s official Harvey Milk Day.

Linh Tat


  1. How terribly sad and shameful. Intentionally or not, Sweeney, Mei, and Wu sent a clear message to Fremont students: homosexuality is bad.

    As for Lara and Bryan, thank you for trying to get a vote.

  2. Enough already. Just because he was gay is not a reason to have another holiday. No wonder our kids are flunking out and aren’t ready for college or the work world. Stop with the agendas and get back to actually teaching the basics. And by the way, most people don’t care about his homosexuality. it is the parents job to teach about sex and social issues, not the schools. Our teachers have hijacked the classrooms with backing from the unions to “change” our kids. We need to stand up for our rights and tell them to shut up and teach! It is not your job to socialize our kids!

  3. First Sweeney, Mei, and Wu decide to ban a book. Now they refuse to acknowledge one of the country’s great civil rights leaders. That’s the 1st, 9th, 14th, 15th, 16, 19th they’ve shown total disdain for.

  4. I am not sure how relevant Harvey Milk is to FUSD. Aside from being gay, what did he really contribute? He was definately a trail-blazer, but really if he was not shot, he would not be so revered Part of me likes that the three can resist all the cry babies talking about ‘shame’. With all of the trouble in the schools, declaring Harvey Milk day should not be on the high priority list. Not sure if this was a ‘clear message that homosexuality was bad’, more just the feeling of not wasting time by making an empty gesture and placating a noisy group.

  5. What a shame that homophobes continue to have their fears impacting government policy. Harvey Milk was a great man and everyone including our children should know what he did. So sad that we continue to have politicians that are clueless.

  6. Mei, Wu and Sweeney . Thank you for having the guts to stand up in the face of pink power. Lara was grand standing and Brian um well… I thought so.

  7. That’s the way to go Mark, by calling people names, (i.e. ‘homophopes’, ‘Nazi’ [you didn’t do that, but same tactic])you are not addressing the issue of a meaningless day. Hell we don’t even think about Lincoln, Washington, Columbus, King on their holidays. Adding one more holiday will not make us suddenly start singing ‘kum bay ya’
    You might be right, there could be some resistance because he was gay, but by name calling you short-circuit the real conversation that we are rearranging the deck chairs while our schools sink. It just might be a matter of priorities and the other 90% who are not gay really don’t have time to waste placating those who are easily upset. Thus it might not be ‘homophopes’ but ‘waste of time and money phobes’ who have a more practical agenda.

  8. Only 8 posts until Godwin’s law… well done.

  9. Harvey Milk Day has meaning to many people. He is important to California and Bay Area history. Fremont recognizing the day costs pretty much nothing and makes a significant portion (somewhere between 1/10th and 1/20th and their friends and family) of the population feel more included. Now they feel even more excluded. The negative view also harms heterosexuals, from gender role constraints to bullying.

    And if you want to get down to the nitty gritty, it’s more about disrespecting women than anything else. Why can a girl wear pants and wrestle but a boy can’t, without social consequences, wear a dress and do color guard?

  10. I think Jon and Mark’s rhetoric is the exact reason the members tabled the symbolic acknowledgement. Too many people treat this issue as you either agreeing with them, or your a bad person, a homophobe, racist, etc.

    There are 365 days in a year, and I am not sure Milk is even one of the 365 most significant people in the history of California. I think that if you are offended by this decision, you are choosing to be.

  11. Say “Harvey Milk” and do you form a mental picture of Harvey Milk or Sean Penn?

    The period of time to be recognized with a movie about your life and your own day of recognition seems to be quite condensed now. Or, maybe that’s just my perception.

  12. Marty,

    I called nobody a homophobe, racist, or anything else. Nor did I claim to be offended. Reread my posts.

    And controversy makes a poor reason for avoiding a vote. They took office to make decisions, not dodge them.

  13. Very cowardly decision. It is stunning that these board members could not even bring themselves to symbolically support and recognize a civil rights leader. What happens when they are called upon to do something substantive?

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