The life and legacy of Harvey Milk continue to inspire generations of Americans more than three decades after his tragic assassination. Harvey stood for pride and equality in the face of prejudice. He became an icon of what the LGBT community could achieve, despite the hate that some displayed towards him.

In doing so, he paved the way for all future LGBT leaders and elected officials. The work of Harvey Milk and the path he blazed gave me the opportunity to serve New York City as Council Speaker.

As we continue the fight for equality, whether in marriage or in the workplace, we continue to draw strength from Harvey’s example. I applaud President Obama’s decision to award Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is a testament to his life, his work, and the lasting influence Harvey had on all Americans.