It seemed particularly appropriate that MILK, the film about HARVEY MILK’S life and sadly premature demise, premiered last night at the CASTRO THEATRE.

HARVEY MILK, San Francisco’s first openly gay leader, was slain 30 years ago. He used to call himself THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET, which referred to the main drag through the neighbourhood he represented on the Board of Supervisors and the centre of the city’s gay and lesbian community.

The world premiere of this biopic brought considerable star power to the CASTRO, including stars SEAN PENN and EMILE HIRSCH. The movie follows HARVEY MILK’S rise through local government ranks and also details the assassinations of HARVEY MILK and MAYOR GEORGE MOSCONE by supervisor DAN WHITE in 1978.

HARVEY MILK received another tribute earlier in the day when a historic streetcar was dedicated to him. He had been a champion of public transportation.

Last night’s premiere also brought out many of HARVEY MILK’S old friends who helped usher in the the gay rights movement that has led, a generation later, to a fight over the right of same sex pairs to marry.

Gay rights activist CLEVE JONES, played in the film by EMILE HIRSCH, said HARVEY MILK would have been thrilled by the motion picture that bears his name but angry that the fight over civil rights continues. He pointed across the street, where hundreds were rallying against Proposition 8, a NOVEMBER 4 ballot measure that would rewrite the California constitution to deny same sex people the right to marry.

“Harvey would be angry…and he’d still be fighting.”

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