Vigil for Milk, Moscone on Friday night

Friday marked the 31st anniversary of the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

A ceremony and candlelight vigil will be held in remembrance of the two civil leaders at 6 p.m. Friday night at the Castro Muni stop, just yards away from where Milk lived up until he was killed. The annual ceremony will be hosted by the Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club.

Milk, who was the first openly gay person elected to a county board of supervisors, and Moscone were shot the Monday after Thanksgiving in 1978 by disgruntled former supervisor Dan White. The incident received national attention at the time, and was resurrected in national consciousness last year with the film biopic “Milk,” featuring Sean Penn as Milk.

Rafael Mandelman, president of the Milk Club, said several friends and colleagues of the two men will attend the vigil tonight, including Harry Britt, who worked with Milk before he was assassinated, Carol Ruth Silver, who was a supervisor at the time, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and Milk’s nephew Stewart Milk.

After the ceremony, those gathered will march through the Castro to the film shop that Milk owned, he said. He said the club continues to mark the anniversary of Milk and Moscone’s death “to mark the progress of LGBT rights and all the other social justice struggles each year.”

“Milk had a quote – ‘If a bullet should kill me, let it shatter every closet door,’” Mandelman said. “Well, we are shattering closet doors.”

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