Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats Launch!

Here’s a very special message from Yours Truly and a special someone else that I’d like for you to meet. I hope you check out our new club, and you stay tuned to find out about our upcoming actions. Thanks.

The Time for Change Is Here!

On Tuesday, we inaugurated Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Throughout the campaign, we’ve heard plenty about the idea of bringing change to Washington and to the entire nation. That is why, today, we are pleased to announce that the former “Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club” has been reestablished as “Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats of Orange County“.

The club’s purpose is to make the Democratic Party and its elected officials responsive to the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. To that end, we will be holding regular meetings, engaging in significant community outreach, endorsing pro-civil rights, and hopefully some openly LGBT, candidates for elected office as well as working with those currently in office.

We invite you to browse through our web site, MilkOC.org, and learn some more about our plans, meet the new board, and learn how to keep in touch with us. This club will be a great step forward for the Democratic Party and for Orange County’s LGBT community!

– John Santioanni, President

– Andrew Davey, Communications Director

  4 comments for “Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats Launch!

  1. February 25, 2009 at 12:06 pm


    I can assume this post is “on topic”

    Before you rename your club please consider Milk’s actions in support and defense of America’s worse mass murderer Jim Jones. Who by the way killed more gays than all recorded hate crimes combined since statistics on hate crimes have been kept.

    This is the letter to Carter where Milk slanders the victims of Jim Jones’ abuse, praises Jones, says that the Jones should have custody of the child who he latter murders*, and tells Carter that an investigation would harm US relations with Guyana.


    *John Stoen, is the son of Tim and Grace Stoen whom Milk specifically attacked in his letter to Carter as they were attempting to extricate their son and others from Jonestown. Months later, 6 year old John Stoen was found poisoned in Jim Jones’ cabin.

    This is what was going on in Jonestown at the time of Milk’s letter to Carter –
    Tracy Parks, a 10 year-old survivor of the Port Kaituma airstrip shootings, recalled that “Children who said they were not happy and wanted to go away were severely beaten.” It was also reported that one 12 year-old girl was “kept imprisoned for weeks in a plywood box three feet wide, four feet high and six feet long.”


    The move of Peoples Temple headquarters to San Francisco in 1975 invigorated Jones’ political career. After the Temple served an important role in the mayoral election victory of George Moscone in 1975, Moscone appointed Jones as the Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission.[42]
    Unlike most other figures deemed as cult leaders, Jones was able to gain public support and contact with prominent local and national United States politicians. For example, Jones and Moscone met privately with vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale on his campaign plane days before the 1976 election and Mondale publicly praised the Temple.[43][44] First Lady Rosalynn Carter also personally met with Jones on multiple occasions, corresponded with him about Cuba, and spoke with him at the grand opening of the San Francisco Democratic Party Headquarters where Jones garnered louder applause than Mrs. Carter.[43][45][46]
    In September 1976, Willie Brown served as master of ceremonies at a large testimonial dinner for Jones attended by Governor Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally and other political figures.[47] At that dinner, while introducing Jones, Willie Brown stated “Let me present to you what you should see every day when you look in the mirror in the early morning hours … Let me present to you a combination of Martin King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein … Chairman Mao.”[48] Harvey Milk, who spoke at political rallies at the Temple,[49] and wrote to Jones after a visit to the Temple: “Rev Jim, It may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave.”[50][51]
    Amidst growing pressure in the United States to investigate the Temple, on February 19, 1978, Harvey Milk wrote a letter of support for the Peoples Temple to President Jimmy Carter.[75][76][77] Therein, Milk wrote that Jones was known “as a man of the highest character.”[77] Regarding the leader of those attempting to extricate relatives from Jonestown, Milk wrote he was “attempting to damage Rev. Jones reputation” with “apparent bold-faced lies.

    Milk was a supporter of controversial political figure Jim Jones, who had been appointed Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Commission after the participation of the Peoples Temple (headed by Jones) was instrumental in the 1975 Mayoral election victory of George Moscone.[1] Milk was not a member of the Temple, but supported effective remedies the Temple had taken addressing various social problems.[2] As well, Jones himself was bisexual[3] and had supported politicians under attack for LGBT-related issues.[4] Like Moscone, Milk received help from Peoples Temple member volunteers in his campaigns.[5] After Jones came under fire, Milk wrote Jones a handwritten note stating “my name is cut into stone in support of you – and your people.”[5] Milk spoke at political rallies at the Peoples Temple.[6] Following a visit to the Peoples Temple, Milk wrote to Jones stating that he there found a sense of being, making up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight, and that he can never leave.[7] After Jones fled to Guyana in August of 1977 following accusations of criminal wrongdoing, Milk attended a rally for the Peoples Temple with Art Agnos.[8]
    Willie Brown stated “he has not regrets” over his past association with Jones and the People’s Temple. Brown also mentioned he would not try to dissociate himself like so many other politicians were. “They all like to say, ‘Forgive me, I was wrong’, but that’s bulls–t. It doesn’t mean a thing now, it just isn’t relevant.”
    Famed civil rights activist Jesse Jackson also defended Jones, stating that “until all the facts are in, he would regard Jones as a man who ‘worked for the people’…I would hope that all of the good he did will not be discounted because of this tremendous tragedy.”

    The best and non biased Gay source is from A Lavender Look at the Temple.

    Harvey Milk irrefutably supported Peoples Temple.

    It may be understandable why in November 1978 the supporters of Milk would attempt to distance the newly martyred supervisor from the still-unfolding horrors of Jonestown. However, we as witnesses, historians, researchers and writers have an obligation to tell future generations the whole truth, as we understand it, to record as much documentation as possible and let the biases and subsequent interpretations transform over time. As Dr. Susan Stryker states in the curator’s statement of the Milk exhibit, “While I wanted to respect Harvey Milk’s legacy, I also wanted to suggest that in venerating him, we risk obscuring a great deal of other equally compelling gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history.”

    If Milk supported Peoples Temple, now is the pivotal time for us to unveil the truth. What we cannot do is let our animosity toward Jim Jones and our horror of Jonestown taint our understanding of the individuals who made up Peoples Temple, including their incredible community based work as well as their relationships with prominent people like Harvey Milk. We should challenge the image of Temple members as mindless, uneducated zombies, and instead, portray them as the passionate, loyal and committed people who inspired Harvey Milk. It is most important that we not participate in or settle for the revisionism and obfuscation that has passed for the historical account of this relationship to date.

    The extent of Milk’s relationship with Peoples Temple may never be fully known. Certainly his murder, along with that of Mayor Moscone, was yet another blow to Temple survivors. Milk and Moscone were the two most powerful San Francisco politicians who maintained close ties to Jim Jones and Peoples Temple; they could have demanded an investigation into the murder of Leo Ryan and the Jonestown tragedy. When Jones tells the residents of Jonestown in the community’s last hours that the “folks in San Francisco won’t be idle over this,” he could have been referring, in part, to Milk and Moscone. Indeed, recently-uncovered research refutes the supposition that Jones ordered Dan White to execute Milk and Moscone; to the contrary, if there were any connection between the City Hall murders and Peoples Temple, it would clearly have been because Milk and Moscone were too closely tied to Jones and the Temple.

    A Lavender Look at the Temple, scheduled to be published in early 2004, examines the connections between Harvey Milk and Peoples Temple as part of its consideration of the church’s internal and external relationship with gay men and lesbians. Reviewing letters from Milk, news clippings and first hand accounts, A Lavender Look not only pieces together this complex and obscured relationship, it also includes accounts from gay and lesbian Temple members and Jonestown survivors.

  2. February 25, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I’m curious, Sour. You appear to be quite exorcised about this but your obvious cut-and-paste posting betrays a clear lack of independent thought. Is that why you haven’t the courage of your convictions sufficient enough to post using your real name?

    Oh, and speaking of real names, the author’s name is Andrew, not Andy. If you wish to call him Andy, then I’ll call you Spilled, which is a name consistent with your logic.

  3. February 25, 2009 at 2:38 pm


    No, your conspiracy crap filled rant is NOT “on topic”. Again, this thread was not meant to dig up old rumors and wild exaggerations about events that happened over 30 years ago. Please examine our terms of use…


    And make a decision on whether you can abide by them. If so, please stop with the thread hijacking and comment on the subject at hand. If not, please take your “history lessons” elsewhere.

    Discussion is welcome here. Trolling, however, is NOT.

  4. February 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Sour —
    just curious, but will you do a like expose on the close relationship between the Bush and Bin Laden families?

    Anddespite all your cut and pasting, not one mainstream outlet reported that there was anything more between Jim Jones and Harvey Milk a couple of letters of support. You know, the same way Jon Fleischman wrote posts of suport in what a great guy Mike Carona was.

Comments are closed.