Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Conservative group protests issuance of Harvey Milk forever stamp

June 06, 2014 06:50 AM

  • The United States Harvey Milk commemorative forever stamp issued May 22.

A conservative Washington-based group is urging its members not to use the newly released Harvey Milk commemorative and to reject any letters bearing the forever stamp issued May 22.

In a news release, the American Family Association decried the United States Postal Service for honoring the San Francisco supervisor, one of the first openly gay people in the country to be elected to public office.

“He is the last person we should be featuring on a stamp,” the group said in a news release issued May 26, four days after the stamp was released at a White House ceremony.

The group called Milk, who was killed along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone Nov. 27, 1978, “a very disreputable man” and attacked the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for approving the stamp.

“Note the hypocrisy of the postal service’s ‘Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee,’ which claims it ‘commemorates positive contributions to American life, history, and culture,’ but specifically states stamps ‘shall not be issued to honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs.’”

A Postal Service spokesman declined to comment on the group’s allegations.

“Stamps reflect the diversity in America and give our customers many choices to purchase a variety of stamps,” said USPS spokesman Roy Betts.

“The Harvey Milk Forever Stamp is being well received.”

Betts called Milk “a visionary leader” whose “achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination.”

“Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services,” Betts said.

The American Family Association has been outspoken in its opposition to the homosexual rights movement, which its website equates with sin. The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled it as a “hate group” in 2010 for its opposition to LGBT groups.