Friday, July 30, 2010

Reagan vs. Harvey Milk

A Dallas Voice blogger responds to California's creation of Ronald Reagan Day by looking for comparisons between Reagan and Harvey Milk, who also has a day in the state (May 22).
Both Milk and Reagan lived in California, but neither was born there. Reagan was from Illinois. Milk was from New York. Both began their political careers in California and both were targeted by gunmen. Reagan, of course, recovered. Obviously, the similarities end there.
Fortunately, this is not true - both Milk and Reagan were instrumental in defeating Proposition 6 in California in 1978, which would have persecuted homosexual teachers. Milk provided the organisation and leadership, while Reagan offered his influence over Californian conservatives. David Mixner, a leading activist on the No campaign, explained:
Despite all our good work, everyone involved had taken the Proposition from 75% in favor of firing homosexual school teachers down to only 55%. We were having a helluva a time gaining that last 6%. We knew we needed something big to push us over the top and we needed it soon since we were in the last weeks of the campaign. There is no doubt in my mind that the man who put us over the top was California Governor Ronald Reagan. His opposition to Proposition 6 killed it for sure.
Mixner describes Reagan's involvement with the issue and his libertarian opposition here.

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