|As reported in the Bay Area Reporter, the San Francisco Human Rights Coalition store at 575 Castro Street is shutting down after 11 years in business, but the site might become a National Park Monument, due to its historical LGBTQ significance.
575 Castro Street was the home of Harvey Milk’s Camera Shop, the campaign headquarters for his successful run for Supervisor and a hub for community activism. And if you didn’t know, Harvey’s apartment was upstairs.
While the closure of another Castro storefront is unfortunate, the Human Rights Coalition is by no means a stridently progressive organization. HRC has a history of endorsing more moderate candidates for office.
For example, HRC endorsed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (who is currently facing multiple sexual harrassment charges), over LGBT candidate Cynthia Nixon. The organization also endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, the same Bernie Sanders who as mayor of Burlington, Vermont supported that city’s first Gay Pride March in 1983.
Moreover, HRC occasionally endorses Republicans over Democrats, such as former Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R) over current Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth (D).
HRC also endorsed Maine Senator Susan Collins (R) over her 2014 Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows. Keep in mind that a few days ago, Senator Collins voted for an amendment to the COVID Relief Package that would have stripped federal funding from schools or school-based programs that include Transgender participants in female sports. Thankfully, this dangerous amendment failed anyway, but only by a one-vote margin.
Establishing 575 Castro Street as a national park monument is the best way to honor Harvey Milk’s progressive and truly inclusive legacy, marching forward.