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The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday started issuing stamps honoring the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who was one of the first openly gay men elected to public office.

Long lines have formed in front of a U.S. Post Office in San Francisco's Castro District this morning as supporters of assassinated city Supervisor Harvey Milk rush to get a stamp dedicated to the gay rights leader, a postal service spokesman said.

The stamp with Milk's laughing face, name and a small strip of the rainbow flag, first became available this morning at post offices throughout San Francisco and nationwide.

Gay civil rights activist Cleve Jones is at the Castro District post office, located at 4304 18th St., along with filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, who wrote the 2008 movie about Milk's life and political career, "Milk," according to USPS spokesman James Wigdel.

"Stamps are selling briskly," Wigdel said.

An official White House stamp dedication ceremony is being held today to honor the first openly gay San Francisco supervisor, while an informal dedication ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. at Harvey Milk Plaza with city Supervisor Scott Wiener and other community members, including Black and Jones.

A more formal ceremony will be held at San Francisco's City Hall Rotunda next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., with members of Milk's family expected to attend, according to Wigdel.

Today is Harvey Milk Day throughout the state, which in 2009 officially named the date in honor of Milk, who was gunned down in San Francisco City Hall, along with Mayor George Moscone, on Nov. 27, 1978, by disgruntled former Supervisor Dan White.


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Today would have been Milk's 84th birthday.

There are other celebrations today to honor Milk and his legacy.

At San Francisco's GLBT History Museum at 4127 18th St., admission is free in honor of Harvey Milk Day.

Docent-led tours are offered every hour on the hour at the museum, which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A 6 p.m. birthday celebration honoring Milk will be held at Beaux at 2344 Market St. in San Francisco, while a "Milk" movie screening at the Skyline United Church of Christ at 12540 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland will give participants an opportunity to discuss the impact of the gay rights leader's life.



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