Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


White House to honor state Rep. Karen Clark as ‘Harvey Milk Champion’

Clark, who was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s new gay-marriage law, is one of 10 gay, openly LGBT elected or appointed officials to be honored Wednesday.

Rep. Karen Clark was the House sponsor of Minnesota's new gay-marriage law.
MinnPost photo by James Nord

Minnesota state Rep. Karen Clark will be honored at the White House Wednesday as a “Harvey Milk Champion of Change” for her commitment to equality and public service.

Clark and nine other openly LGBT elected or appointed officials will be honored in a ceremony that’s part of the ongoing White House “Champions of Change” program.

The event is on the birthday of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to a political position in California. He was shot and killed at the San Francisco City Hall in 1978 and was posthumously awarded the  Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Obama.

Clark was the House sponsor of the state’s new gay-marriage law. The Minneapolis legislator, first elected in 1980, is the longest-serving openly gay or lesbian state legislator in the nation.

Article continues after advertisement

The ceremony will “honor Harvey Milk’s legacy in these ten outstanding public servants, who will surely inspire the next generation of public servants,” said Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president.

The event will be streamed live at 2 p.m. Central time on the White House website.