In 1978, former Governor Ronald Reagan, Supervisor Milk, President Jimmy Carter, and former President Gerald Ford all opposed a ballot initiative sponsored by California state senator John Briggs. The “Briggs Initiative” would have banned gay men and lesbians from being teachers or otherwise employed by California school districts.
On June 25, 1978, Milk—who had been elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977—gave a rousing speech at the city’s Gay Freedom Day celebration. In it, he challenged Briggs and others to reexamine American history.
In case the President had not read the speech, Milk sent him a copy along with a note. He hoped that the President would oppose the Briggs Initiative and “take a leadership role in defending the rights of gay people.”
You can read the full story here: http://go.usa.gov/bsf4
Image from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library