Talk:Harvey Milk/Archive 10

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 11

First elected gay man

"...the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors..." is, technically speaking, not true. Allan Spear was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1972, came out in 1974 and was re-elected in 1976, a year before Milk was elected. I in no way mean to detract from Milk but the statement needs to be clarified. Otto4711 (talk) 22:17, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I would say clarify in the footnote or wherever the article addresses the other out politicians. Jose Sarria might be worth mentioning in some way as well. -- Banjeboi 02:12, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
How about footnoting the lead and changing footnote 5 to read something like "Technically, Minnesota State Senator Allan Spear, who was elected in 1972, came out in 1974 and was re-elected in 1976 was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States. Milk was the first non-incumbent openly gay man to be elected." Not to slight Elaine Noble but I'm not sure there's a need to mention her in this context. I realize this is a bit awkward, but being from Wisconsin, where we have the first openly LGBT person elected to Congress as a non-incumbent, we're a bit sensitive to such things.  ;-) Otto4711 (talk) 04:21, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Technically though Milk was the first openly gay man elected, I suppose semantically there might be a better word choice but unsure what it would be. Spear got the job first, then came out, and won re-election. That's quite different than one who enters the process as a gay man. -- Banjeboi 10:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Review

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
This review is transcluded from Talk:Harvey Milk/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Protonk comments


  • I don't know about the OTRS bit, so I'll just assume that anything with an OTRS ticket on the image description page is ok.
  • Image:Harvey milk.jpg. I'll bite. Why is this not replaceable with another image of Milk, aside from the fact that it is a relative closeup and near the right ratio for an infobox? This is partially devil's advocate but also partially because if this goes on the main page that image won't be displayed there.
  • Does Image:Mural of Harvey Milk in former Castro Camera.JPG have any WP:ACCESS issues as displayed? Can it be displayed without cropping as a right or left aligned image with text floating around it?
  • As an update, I went through safari and changed my User agent to various other browsers. Haven't seen a problem yet. No problems opening in Opera or Camino. Doesn't seem to be an issue. Protonk (talk) 18:03, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • He doesn't look like Sean Penn. Ok, maybe a little. :)
  • Yeah, I think I was going off the film posters and the images in this article. The front cover of Strange de Jim's book and that trailer = scary resemblance. Protonk (talk) 19:20, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The top image will have to be replaced before nomination at FAC. --Moni3 (talk) 18:55, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


  • A note here, I do not have any of these sources in hand. I'll ask question where a citation seems odd but I won't have a chance to doublecheck or find better quotes as I usually do.
  • A further note, where I denote footnotes by number I mean the number in the Citations or Notes sections of this revision.
  • fn 121 (the AoJ Memo) literally verifies the part of the text but does so in an offhand manner and does not verify another part. The memo discusses the White case as a segue to diminished capacity in NC and in the paragraph (presumably) cited mentions the binging claim but not the "health food concious" claim. Since their source for this is Rolling Stone (or Newsweek) it would probably be better to cite those if they are available. Re-reading the text it may also be possible that you swapped fn 120 and 121 inadvertently.
  • fn133. The california penal code is surprisingly readable, but I suspect that a secondary source might exist that discussed this change (much like fn 121 discussed the changes to "diminished capacity" in North Carolina).
  • Note 1: I don't think Karen Foss is a historian, per se. She is a professor of communication and rhetorical theory. That doesn't make her wrong about anything, just that we shouldn't call her a historian.
  • Foss (1994) is a good read (as crit. lit. anthologies go). I would like to see more of it in the section that cites fn 138. We use specific phrasing like "insider/outsider" "laughter, reversal, transcendence" but we don't get to the part where the verve comes from. In her view, Milk won because he was loony or he passed at being loony. My suggestion is to reread Foss (1994) and see if you can take the starch out of that section. :)
  • fn 53 Add 0037-7791 as the ISSN.
  • fn 1. Why is the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality featured so prominently? This isn't adversarial, it isn't bluelinked or redlinked so I'm guessing it isn't notable, Why put it in the lede?
  • fn 136 ISSN is 0022-5169.
  • I don't quite understand your second point.
  • I place the second point on my GA reviews because I work through the article linearly and also work through my GA rubric linearly. Images=>Sources=>POV (if it is an issue)=>MOS=>Small issues. I used to include the anchor links to the footnotes but during a recent GA nomination I discovered that (shock!) people handle Ga issues in different orders than I do). So by the time they got to the source section, none of the footnotes pointed to the correct article. So now I just note this and note which revision I'm getting the numbers from for clarity. Protonk (talk) 19:16, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • You're right about the North Carolina reference. I'll find a better one. The same for a secondary resource about diminished capacity in California.
  • The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality is featured in the lead because it gives an overview of Milk's impact. I have problems with the quote, and I think I'll change it. --Moni3 (talk) 19:13, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


  • Ok. I'll get this out now. I have some WP:SIZE concerns with this article. Editable text is 85kb right now, although the total loaded size is only 305 kb (much less than most web pages). I realize that the size guidance is a little outmoded--even in the states DSL penetration is pretty high. However, I think this article can be trimmed by spinning portions out. I am not going to suggest that elements be spun out purely for size as I think it is much more helpful to spin out topical elements (i.e. rather than "early/mid/late life", spin out things where Milk was only an element of a larger scheme). A suggestion: Broader historical forces should be spun out or spun in to another existing article. That article should be summarized with ~1/3 of the current amount of prose. I understand the urge to be comprehensive and, frankly (given the limited refs) no other section can be spun out without negatively impacting the quality of the bio.
  • Per Wikipedia:Self-references to avoid, the link to the LGBT portal should be moved to the talk page. I see that the USMC project does this on Oliver Sipple. Am I reading SELFREF right?
  • In my opinion (and this is just a suggestion/opinion), the see also section should be absorbed into the text and eliminated. For the List of American Assasinated politicians, a link to there exists in the category Category:Assassinated American politicians. I'm not sure where Violence against LGBT people can go.
  • The lead needs to be expanded slightly to accommodate a summary of the broader issues discussed in Move to San Francisco and Broader historical forces
  • By a prose size peek, it's at 56k. However, more than one person has commented on its size. I think it does reflect the references on Milk's life, but I will start to seriously consider what to cut or consolidate.
  • I so rarely pay attention to see also and external links...I suppose I should start at some point. --Moni3 (talk) 19:36, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Small Issues

  • "He was stationed in San Diego and earned the rank of lieutenant, junior grade as a deep sea diver on an aircraft carrier." Do we know which aircraft carrier? Which base? Also, I would prefer the rank to be only included in the discharge as "He was discharged from the Navy at the rank of lieutenant, junior grade in 1955." because O-2 is an automatic promotion (As is O-3, Lieutenant). Strictly speaking, it is earned, but that is my suggestion.
  • "Milk abruptly moved from his job as an insurance salesman to become a researcher at a Wall Street company..." Do we know which company?
  • "White did not forget it. He opposed every initiative and issue Milk proposed and supported." How about "White did not forget the snub."?
  • "Some of them were encapsulated and buried beneath the sidewalk in front of where Castro Camera was located" "...the sidewalk in front of Castro Camera."?
  • "White's defense attorney, Doug Schmidt, argued that he was not responsible for his actions, using the legal defense known as diminished capacity" is the definite or indefinite article appropriate here? I would prefer "a legal defense", but my copy of Strunk and White sits unopened.


This is a lovely article. I will pass it to GA with the full knowledge that the small issues here will be worked on. I'm not the right person to do a close reading for grammar, spelling, wording, but I've done the best I can. As you can see I haven't found much. I can say generally that the Campaigns and Supervisor sections can be tightened up but I can't provide specific guidance. I also feel that spinning out the broader issues will help with the flow of the article. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to review this. Protonk (talk) 05:06, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Protonk. This was quite a thorough review of the article,a nd I don't consider these issues minor. I hope its eventual rating will be FA, and these things will come up there. It's good to fix them now or prepare a good explanation of why they are there. I need to go over these one by one, and I'll comment or ask clarification where needed. --Moni3 (talk) 13:51, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


I removed the "[sic]" after Altoona, Pennsylvanias in Harvey Milk's Hope Speech. I think it is inappropriate because I don't think "Pennsylvanias" or "Minnesotas" are understood to be grammatical errors or contemporaneous expressions, rather Milk is using a rhetorical device to illustrate that gay people are everywhere, from mid-sized cities like Altoona to small towns like Richmond. The plural-ness demonstrates Altoona and Richmond are placeholders for any American town or city. Queerudite (talk) 16:17, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you. --Moni3 (talk) 16:37, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Oke-doke. :) Protonk (talk) 16:47, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Nitpick lead paragraph

Milk was born and raised in New York, where he acknowledged his homosexuality early, but chose to pursue a financial career that required secrecy and discretion.

I think this sentence from the lead paragraph is oddly worded. It sounds like it is saying:

A) Financial jobs require secrecy and discretion.
B) Milk acknowledging his homosexuality made it hard to be secretive or discrete.

When I think it intends to say:

C) Gay people were often fired from financial jobs because of their sexual orientation.
D) Milk would have to be secretive and discrete to avoid disclosing his sexual orientation at work.

How about something more like: "Milk was born and raised in New York, where he acknowledged his homosexuality early, but chose to pursue a financial career that required him to conceal his sexual orientation." Queerudite (talk) 17:31, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

  • That's better. I was going to say something about it in the review but I forgot....ARGH! Protonk (talk) 17:35, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
I get your point. For accuracy, I think we can ditch the career in totality, because Milk chose to be closeted regardless of his career opportunities. It wasn't just his job where he did not admit to being gay. It was just about with everyone else except for the men he slept with. --Moni3 (talk) 17:37, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
In that case, why not drop the sentence entirely? Or maybe that's exactly what you're suggesting, Moni? I mean, it is the lead paragraph and Milk was not famous for being an insurance salesman or for being closeted. So maybe the second sentence should be: "Born and raised in New York, Milk held an assortment of jobs and moved frequently, as he was constantly restless and had no tolerance for boredom." Queerudite (talk) 23:41, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
I think from a biographical standpoint it is important to keep the closeted bit in. But we can massage the wording a bit. Protonk (talk) 23:43, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Sources about Milk's life point out his conservative and closeted beginning, remarking that his change at the end of his life, encouraging people to come out when he had not was a big deal. I think it's the career thing we can get rid of. He didn't come out when he was younger because he wanted a career. It was because he was scared. --Moni3 (talk) 23:54, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Well put. The new edit is clearer and stronger. Queerudite (talk) 00:14, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't gays instead be gay people? -- Banjeboi 21:33, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Do you have an objection to "gays"? --Moni3 (talk) 21:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Well "the gays" was used "back then" somewhat pejoratively so I accept it in quotes. And LGBT isn't quite accurate as we'd need to know that when Milk (or others) used the term they did or did not mean to include bisexual and trans people. Gays certainly included lesbians at some point. In the spirit of human dignity though I would want us to refrain from rolling back progress to become the shorthanded gays again, "gay people" or "gay and lesbian people" might help ease that in some cases although this certainly could wait to be fixed. It jumped out at me and on other articles - that hadn't been picked over - I would simply tweak it. Arguably His goal was to give hope to disenfranchised gays around the country should be His goal was to give hope to LGBT people around the country. They needn't be disenfranchised to have hope heaped in their general direction. -- Banjeboi 22:08, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I tend to go with the way the sources refer to... you know...them. I'm sure you caught the self-referencing "fags" in Stonewall riots (as well as queens and transvestites - with no references to transgender people until 1994), but the majority of sources refer to gays and lesbians. Older sources about the DOB and Mattachine Society refer to homosexuals, homophiles, and variants. I bought the Gay & Lesbian Almanac at a library sale recently (for $2.50!) and they use "lesbigay" throughout the tome to my constant irritation. Seems like a term used for a few years, deemed momentarily politically correct. Milk himself used "gays" to reference gay people. Most of the authors I used for the Milk article were gay or sympathetic. Furthermore, most sources refer to the invasion of the Castro District to be primarily male. There were a few lesbian enclaves in and around San Francisco (and Milk's last campaign manager was a lesbian), but by far the majority of those who settled in the Castro were men. Personally, maybe I'm frightfully old, but I don't see gay as a noun (or adjective) to be pejorative. And I am a big ol' gaymo. --Moni3 (talk) 23:13, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Let's back-burner it til December. The Castro is certainly about the boys and culturally it's two men macking on each other that wrankles homophobic responses so we'd have to quibble each nuance to suss who within the LGBT is being referred and the varying levels of enlightenment. I'm sure this page will keep hoping well into the new year and maybe an elegant solution will present itself. -- Banjeboi 23:45, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I prefer to hew to the economist style guide in most cases. Though they don't have a specific comment, I agree w/ Moni a little bit. "Gays" dates the piece appropriately and (as Benjiboi notes) is closer to what people meant back then (before the movement was broadened to combat heteronormativity in general). And wow, totally better than Lesbigay. I'm not sure how well an elegant solution will link 1977 to the LBGT movement, but one may present itself. Protonk (talk) 19:18, 2 November 2008 (UTC)


San Francisco dedicated a trolley to Harvey Milk which someone might want to add to the tributes section. Here are the news stories about it:

I saw it yesterday. The tributes are mostly in a footnote. We're running heavy on tributes, and I'm starting to wonder if we can or should include them all. --Moni3 (talk) 19:14, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I still think tributes should be spun into it's own and summarized here; it doesn't have to happen ASAP but clearly this section would be a fine article. -- Banjeboi 21:14, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Milk's arrest

I put this in a blind edit and originally decided not to include it because he wasn't arrested, just detained, and certainly not convicted of anything. It is not clear in Shilts if he was detained for soliciting a police officer or for being in the cruising area of Central Park. In such a long article, Shilts or no one else connected the interaction with police to anything else in Milk's life. Without that, why should it be included? --Moni3 (talk) 22:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I recall it in both the book and the documentary based on "Life and Times of Harvey Milk". It also seemed to have an impact on Milk later in his life, and was a major reason he never returned to the city of Albany, where he'd spent his formative years. Bearian (talk) 01:09, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't recall any source stating that he never returned to Albany, or if he did why that was. It could have been because he was assassinated and just didn't make it back. It's a pretty significant point to make and it needs a reliable source. --Moni3 (talk) 01:16, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Well Done

I read this just before it went live on the front page and was very impressed. Well done folks and good timing! Eusebeus (talk) 02:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! --Moni3 (talk) 02:36, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, well done! --Falcorian (talk) 03:42, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Practicing Jew sources, and typo

Do we have a source that he practised the Jewish religion? I know it says he came from a Jewish family background. And could somebody please translate this into English: "gay rights is ot archaic"? I realise it is probably a typo, but what for? PatGallacher (talk) 03:07, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Not archaic. The infobox, which I was never excited about, simply states Milk's religion was Jewish. That is cited. What other kind of proof or reliable source were you looking for? --Moni3 (talk) 03:14, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
If "gay rights" is not archaic then can we use it here, it's "LGBT" which could be ahistorical here? I have looked over the article again and I do not see anywhere where his Jewish religion is cited, it just mentions his Jewish family background, not the same. Can you show me where this is cited? PatGallacher (talk) 15:21, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Judaism did not seem to be a significant factor in Milk's life in the material I read. That could be because most of the material written about him was completed by non-Jews. However, I learned from his nephew that Milk's grandfather started at least two and perhaps three Jewish congregations in the Five Towns area of Long Island. During a phone call, Stuart Milk also connected his great-grandfather's involvement in those congregations to his emphasis on supporting civil rights for all people, that may have motivated Harvey. But this was only brushed upon in Shilts' biography, so I can't use it in the article. A point Shilts did make was that in Milk's early life he was riled only once in political discussions - during a dinner party some guests talked about how Germans didn't know the Holocaust was occurring. Milk became very agitated and screamed at them about the ridiculousness of such an idea, embarrassing Joe Campbell. --Moni3 (talk) 16:06, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
All this may be perfectly true, but it does not add up to evidence that he ever practised Judaism. PatGallacher (talk) 01:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Wait a minute. How is it you are the one to determine over the reliable sources used, that despite his own identification as a Jew that he wasn't a practicing Jew? How often did he have to participate in Jewish ceremonies or rituals for him to qualify? Once a month? A few times a year? Once a week? He came from a strong Jewish family. His nickname growing up was Yiddish. He recounted to Eve Merriam and others his transformation from a middle class Jewish kid from Long Island. His memorial service was at a synagogue, presided over by the first openly gay rabbi in San Francisco. All that is in the article. He belonged to a Jewish fraternity in college - not in the article. But you require a citation for Religion: Jewish? --Moni3 (talk) 01:21, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Some of these matters might justify this claim about his religion, but others are not decisive e.g. that he came from a strongly Jewish family (maybe Martin Luther came from a strongly Catholic family) or had a Yiddish nickname, or had a memorial service in a synagogue (presumably a decision taken by his family). Others which might back it up ought to be more clearly cited. PatGallacher (talk) 01:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I would think we need a direct, strong, reliable citation that he was either a practicing Jew, or believed personally in the Jewish faith, for a significant part of his adult life, before we say he had the Jewish religion. That's a general point about all biographies and all religions. Just because someone is born into a faith or practices as a child does not mean that they are that faith growing up. True, by Jewish tradition he is considered Jewish due to his mother's religion. But by that theory he is probably Mormon as well because they've posthumously converted him. Religious categorizations are better done using external objective factors, not the "in-world" standards of the religion. Also note that Jewishness is a mixture of heritage, ethnicity, culture, identification, and religion. Thus a reference that he was Jewish does not without more show that he is of the Jewish religion. Wikidemon (talk) 02:06, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Religion categories are quite strict for BLPs but certainly less so for historical figures. That his funeral was held at a synagogue seems telling. I smell a Jewish summary footnote might help here. -- Banjeboi 18:49, 9 December 2008 (UTC)


Per the "intuitiveness" section of Wikipedia's piped link guideline (sorry, couldn't resist the nerdy joke there) would it not be best to either include some descriptive text in the link to the Moscone–Milk assassinations, or use a "main article" template instead of an in-line link?

The reason I ask is that User:842U, one of our better copyeditors, just changed the reference from were assassinated to were assassinated. In my opinion that creates an "easter egg" where the reader expects the link to point to the article on assassinations in general, which is probably uninteresting to most people reading about Milk so they won't click it, rather than alerting them to the fact that we have a fine article specifically on Milk's and Moscone's assassination.

Thoughts? - Wikidemon (talk) 01:27, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

That's why I linked "were assassinated" originally. I'd prefer it back that way since assassination is a link to another unrelated article. As to the main article template, there is on at the top of the Black Monday section. Is that what you were referring to, or am I misunderstanding? --Moni3 (talk) 01:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Understood. Perhaps a better solution is to redo the sentence a little so that there is a somewhat more descriptive thing to grab onto as a link text than "were assassinated". Maybe turn it into a noun somehow, e.g. "the assassination of Milk and Mayor Moscone". Wikidemon (talk) 02:09, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Right, it's all the piping that's creating the problem. To follow the Easter egg thinking, what is a reader supposed to imagine this single hyperlink is going to mean: George Moscone were assassinated? It looks like one hyperlink, poorly crafted. It is in fact two hyperlinks sitting adjacently, but the adjacency obscures that there are two hyperlinks, not to mention the meaning of either. I do see the points others are making here... as mentioned, perhaps there could be a another way that the two hyperlinks are not sitting right next to each other under the caption "George Mascone were assassinated." 842U (talk) 05:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Wide image at bottom of article

What's up with the ridiculously wide (my opinion) photo of Baden's Harvey Milk mural at the bottom of this article. I was bold and made it a more reasonable (my opinion again) size for this context, but someone changed it back. I know it's pretty, but is 400px to 500px not big enough? It seems like it was placed at the end of the article (just before the "Notes section") as a "cap" of sorts on the whole thing. In theory, that makes sense since the mural is a tribute and the last section used to be the "Tributes and namesakes section." But the "Tributes and namesakes section" is no longer the last section. So why is the image still there at the end of the article? Furthermore, while "capping" an article is, in a way, symmetrical, I've never seen articles on Wikipedia "capped" by wide images before. "Article capping" isn't (as of now) in Wikipedia's standards of format. Lastly, this just isn't the right context for that kind of personal emphasis, like a fansite would be.

In my opinion, the image should, at least, be put in the "Tributes and namesakes section," where I believe it belongs. And I think it could use a re-sizing too. Personal emphasis like this should not come across in any element of a Wikipedia article. These are just my opinions, so please don't take offense. Personally, I would be happy to hear the opinions of anyone else interested in this article. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Cheers, ask123 (talk) 06:00, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I wrote the article, and I took the image. Been sick for the past few days, so sorry for taking long to respond. For all the reasons in the first paragraph, I decided to make the image a wide span one. I've seen it done in some FA state and national park articles and thought it could be used in others. --Moni3 (talk) 01:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm indifferent about the image use in the article (it is a lovely image, but I can see the argument that its use would be more appropriate for an homage than an encyclopedia article), but I will say that I tested it in a number of different browser engines and couldn't find any WP:ACCESS problems. I know you aren't suggesting this, but just noting it for the purposes of discussion. Protonk (talk) 02:40, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it's a fine image at the full size and at the end of the article - it's a nice treat after a lot of information. -- Banjeboi 18:54, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Heroic things / Outing Sipple

Several different users have changed the subheading titled "Heroic things" with quotes to "Outing Sipple" without quotes starting the day the article appeared on the main page. I've reverted them because 1. The subheading of the text is a direct quote from Milk, 2. It does not state that what Sipple or Milk did was heroic, so no POV issues are relevant, and 3. using "Outing Sipple" when Sipple was only briefly mentioned puts undue weight on Sipple's role in Milk's life in this article. Rather, the section is there to prove Milk's own clout in San Francisco, and his growing influence as a spokesman for the gay community since that job previously fell to Jim Foster and Alice. Some spacing is also breaking apart paragraphs, and the section loses integrity when that is done. I'm bringing this here since I don't wish to continue blindly reverting without discussion. So let's discuss it. --Moni3 (talk) 20:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I've never see a quote used for a heading or a subheading and I have no doubt there's a good reason for it. --Voooooh (talk) 18:56, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Per the Manual of Style there is nothing forbidding it, and in fact I have used them in other FAs I have written, including Stonewall riots and Mulholland Drive (film). If you have no doubt there is good reason to have "Heroic things", why do you continue to change it? I do not understand your reasoning for doing so, which is why I am asking you to state it. If you continue to do this without discussion, you will be in breach of the edit warring rule. Please discuss it here before changing again. I do not feel "Outing Sipple" is appropriate at all, but I am not married to "Heroic things". If we have to come up with a 3rd idea, that is possible. --Moni3 (talk) 19:13, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I tried putting in a different heading but you didn't like it. --Voooooh (talk) 17:11, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Your suggested heading had neutrality issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Not only did you insert "Outing Sipple" once more, you removed the topic sentence for the section. By doing this, you are changing the purpose for including information about Sipple in Milk's article. The reason it is here is to illustrate the rise of Milk's profile in the city. Your reverts change it to make it seem as if Milk's outing Sipple had no connection to anything else he was doing, and weights it randomly. And entire section dedicated to Sipple? He was not that important in Milk's life. Any reference to Sipple in the subheading is inappropriate. --Moni3 (talk) 17:41, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I have to say, looking at this neutrally, that the section in question is manifestly about Oliver Sipple, and is not at all about Milk's role as a spokesman. It just isn't. Without the "topic sentence", there are 9 sentences in the section, and all 9 of them pertain to the Sipple case. Several of them are simply explanations of what occurred and don't even pertain to Milk directly. The "topic sentence" is not appropriate there since, well, that's not what the section is about. "Outing Sipple" is probably the best section heading - it's short, to the point, and accurately describes the content of the section. I don't see the objection to it. An alternative might be something like "Role in the Sipple case" or simply (in the context of the larger section title "Campaigns") "Oliver Sipple". --MCB (talk) 02:20, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate your input, MCB. If the section does not read as if the incident reflected upon Milk's political role despite the topic sentence, then this should be taken into consideration. Two sources state that Milk contacted Herb Caen during a campaign that was not as successful as he had hoped. And I think it has been made clear in the article that Milk used the press to his advantage at every opportunity. I tried to keep the sections succinct and topical, and worried that too much tangent would be confusing. However, I wonder if taking the first two paragraphs from Race for State Assembly and placing them before the Role as a spokesman section, and integrating the two would strengthen the point of Milk's rising profile during the State Assembly race and avoid the issue of the subheading altogether. --Moni3 (talk) 02:51, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That seems like a reasonable idea. I agree that a whole section about Oliver Sipple is undue weight in this article (while a whole section about Milk is fine in Sipple's article). So a section that is about Milk's rising profile during the State Assembly race is definitely preferable to what's here. My point was only that a section that was about outing Sipple probably should be titled that, not something elliptical. (I admit I liked "Heroic things", though!) --MCB (talk) 08:20, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I did too. Brilliant and compelling. Ah, well. I'll work on the section today. --Moni3 (talk) 13:04, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The new "Race for state assembly" section looks great. Good work! --MCB (talk) 16:42, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
It's settled then the section is about the outing of Sipple and the subheading should reflect that. --Voooooh (talk) 06:35, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
As you see, the Sipple material has been combined into a more relevant section about the state assembly campaign, where it makes much more sense. --MCB (talk) 16:42, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Sorry to jump into this one on such minor issue, but calling the Tenderloin (TL) "sleazy" seems a bit POV to me. The TL has a load of problems, but I'm trying to think of a better word to sum it up(seedy, impoverished?). Is there a way to describe how/where Sipple was living? Was he living in a single room occupancy hotel/supportive housing? Or would it be ok to remove that altogether? I'm not sure if "sleazy" even needs to stay in to describe the TL to people unfamiliar with it. -Optigan13 (talk) 08:10, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Note: - For those unaware of developments earlier, Voooooh was blocked at 17:09 (UTC) this afternoon for a period no longer than 48 hours (that meaning it automatically expires at 17:09 (UTC) on December 15th) for continual edit-warring. Caulde 21:42, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Quote needs citation

Now located in the Assembly race section, "to keep the gay community free itself of anointed gatekeepers and machine politics" needs a citation. It also looks like it needs a correction because as written it's not grammatically correct. Otto4711 (talk) 21:17, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Dude, you pulled the statement from its citation in the Tributes section. And since that quote cannot be traced back farther than 2008, I'm questioning if it should be in the Race for state assembly section. Furthermore, the Times of Harvey Milk was based on Shilts' biography, and you just removed that. --Moni3 (talk) 21:29, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Direct quotes need to have a citation directly following them in most or all cases. It was very unclear that the footnote at the end of the sentence is associated with the quote. Given the ungrammatical nature of it I wonder if the quote really adds that much value in either location. And I certainly did not remove the information about Shilts's book. The sentence reads "The Times of Harvey Milk, a documentary film based on the book's material, won the 1984 Academy Award for Documentary Feature." Otto4711 (talk) 21:36, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Otto, jiminy. Citation 154 a link. Click on it and search for the quote with the ctrl+F feature. But I maintain that there is no verification to state why the Milk Club was organized in 1976. That quote was written in 2008 as far as I know. --Moni3 (talk) 21:41, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying and I know how links work and I see the quote on the Milk club's website. What I'm saying is that having the quote away from its attribution is confusing. It is not clear from the article as I found it, which read A Democratic organization more liberal than the Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club organized in 1976 "to keep the gay community free itself of anointed gatekeepers and machine politics". It changed its name to the Harvey Milk Memorial Gay Democratic Club in 1978 and boasts that it is the largest gay Democratic organization in San Francisco.[153] that the note is associated with the quote. They aren't even in the same sentence. Do you not see that readers may find that confusing? I don't understand your statement that the quote doesn't speak to the club's foundation in 1976 because you used it to explain why the club was founded in 1976. Otto4711 (talk) 21:53, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, I think it's a matter of preference as to seeing citation immediately after quotes and facts. I generally tend to cite quotes, but when the same source is used in the next sentence, I also stretch it out. It's cited, this one in particular (obviously) by a quick link to check to see if I made it up. Were it a print source, I may have structured the sentences differently. However, the point about placing the quote in the Race for state assembly section is that, because this is a chronological article, the quote is being used to say that people in 1976 were saying why they were starting a new gay democratic club. But in actuality, the quote is attributed to the organization 30 years later. Ideally, a source is needed by the folks who started the club to say at the time why it needed to be started, not why it was started in retrospect. In retrospect, its placement is appropriate in the Tributes section. --Moni3 (talk) 21:59, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

OK, I don't want to get into a big argument about it. I've pulled it from the Assembly section. I don't think it adds anything to the Tributes section so I'm not going to re-add it but of course won't revert you if you do. I do think the rest of the sentence reads better the way that I have it so I hope you won't revert the entire edit. I still believe that if the quote is in a separate sentence it needs a separate citation per Wikipedia:When to cite. Otto4711 (talk) 22:23, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


I believe that the paragraph currently in the tributes section that details the various books, plays, films, etc. written about Milk ought to be moved to the legacy section. These really aren't tributes to Milk. Shilts especially, who strove so much for impartiality that he refused to take an HIV test until he'd completed "And the Band Played On" to avoid having his status color his judgment, would IMHO rankle at the notion of his book being deemed a tribute. I didn't want to move it without discussion. Otto4711 (talk) 21:30, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Minor wording issue

Pandemonium rapidly escalated

Pandemonium ensues, violence escalates. Volume escalates, tensions escalate, but pandemonium doesn't escalate, does it? MotherFunctor (talk) 23:56, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Harvey Milk and Rev. Jim Jones

Milk was an activesupporter of Jones duringthe People's Temple's times in San Francisco. This biographical sketch has completely ignored that and this means it is nothingmore than a propaganda piece by fans of Milk. To become otherwise, it needs to address to failings of Milk, such as his support of Jones. (talk) 00:47, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Provide sources more comprehensive than the ones used in the article, and that may be a consideration. Otherwise, your assertions are original research. --Moni3 (talk) 00:54, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
In general, it is not fruitful to complain that articles are press releases, whitewashes, fan club meetings, etc., simply because they do not happen to include a piece of derogatory content one might want to include. That tends to insult the hardworking editors on an article, and antagonizes them to the point where they are not going to be as eager to listen to any proposal that follows. The issue of unwarranted support for the People's Temple has been discussed regularly across many articles and the fact of it is that Jim Jones was thoroughly integrated into San Francisco politics and counted the support of a large part of the political and social power structure there. Much of the support persisted, and he had defenders, even as his behavior became more problematic and signs appeared that the church was turning into a cult. In general that information is best presented in central articles about Jim Jones, the People's Temple, and surrounding events, rather than peppering the biographical articles of each of his supporters with that same story. The focus of this article is Milk, not Jones - it would be relevant to this article only if it was a significant effect on Milk and his career. Wikidemon (talk) 01:19, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


Given the climate of bigotry and intolerance that still exists in America and other places, I strongly submit that the Harvey Milk page and the Milk Movie Wiki page should be locked for, say, 2 weeks. I know most Wikipedians are good folk, but it just takes one shmuck to bring things down. What say you, Wikipedia editors? Aikibum (talk) 01:37, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

For what reason? --Moni3 (talk) 01:40, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Above the fold

Looking at the article for the first time, the first thing that strikes me is that the lead is longer than would be best. The content is fine, but a somewhat shorter introduction with material moved "below the fold" would read better. LotLE×talk 21:29, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Per the guidelines at WP:Lead, the lead is an appropriate length for this article, particularly because it is an FA. It skims over most of Milk's life, excluding major events to conclude why Milk is considered important. The lead does what it needs to do. --Moni3 (talk) 22:48, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't want the lead to be dramatically shorter. Clearly this is not a topic whose lead could be just a couple sentences. But three well-tuned paragraphs would be far friendlier to readers than the current four somewhat rambling paragraphs (or it could be four somewhat tighter paras, I'm not fixated on exact paragraph count, just bothered by the looseness and happenstance of the current lead). LotLE×talk 23:07, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Just as a side note, another politician article I edit is Barack Obama, whose lead as a featured article is less than half as long as this one was when I first looked. I have also worked on the Barney Frank article, whose lead is less than 1/3 the length of this one. I don't think either of those other political figures is insignificant. LotLE×talk 09:33, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I have trimmed the lead to a length more appropriate for an encyclopedia article (following the example of other highly notable politicians). I believe it reads far better now. Most of what I did was basic simplification and use of more direct language (less peacock or weasel wording). There is one quite nice quote, however, that is really just out of balance in the lead:

Writer John Cloud remarked on his influence, "After he defied the governing class of San Francisco in 1977 to become a member of its board of supervisors, many people—straight and gay—had to adjust to a new reality he embodied: that a gay person could live an honest life and succeed."[1]

I like Cloud's comment, and feel like it would be nice to incorporate it somewhere in the article. However, mentioning this one editorial opinion is really unbalanced for lead. I stick the quote here for now, pending finding a good home for it in the body. LotLE×talk 09:51, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Rambled did it? Like the tumbling tumbleweeds o'er the vast open plains of Kansas, the words bumping along until trapped by barbed wire fences and forced to congregate to be discarded by a farmer who burns them only to make some kind of order?
Since its appearance on the main page and the opening of the film, the article has had quite a few edits to it, folks tweaking here and there to their satisfaction, whatever that might be. You've removed information about city politics, which are vital to understanding how Milk was elected and how they played a role in his assassination. Most frustrating is the removal of the quote by John Cloud. Pardon to other readers of this page who have seen this before. I read all the sources for this article, including over 200 microfilms for local newspapers. I sought for weeks to find a quote suitable to summarize Milk's impact, making comments about this bizarre occurrence during the FAC. A good lead not only summarizes the article, but a lead in an FA compels the reader—with brilliant writing—to continue to read further. Your edits appear to compromise the compelling writing part. The last two paragraphs are stunted and choppy. I did not think it needed assistance before your edits, and I am hard-pressed to see the improvement. This article is its own; not to be modeled after Obama's, Frank's, or anyone else's. I would appreciate a discussion about this. I am open to the idea that wording can be improved, but I do not like the deletions that have been made to the lead. --Moni3 (talk) 15:09, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
The bit about tumbleweeds indeed seems exactly right :-)... as much as any metaphor can be, anyway. It had previously read as a "word stew", with far too many clauses thrown in under the hope they might "add flavor". In terms of the Cloud quote, it's really just far too much of an opinion to merit a place in the lead. It's one guy's (well-stated) opinion, but as soon as I read it I start wondering about what contrary opinions other people hold. And then I especially wonder who the heck John Cloud is that he is the preeminent authority on gay politics, or on Milk, or whatever (not so much as a Wikilink helps me figure out this quandry). An encyclopedia should be factual, informative, and neutral... especially the lead, and even more especially the lead in a featured article.
My comparison with Obama and Frank aren't efforts to lean on WP:OTHERSTUFF. I'm just trying to get the article to follow WP:LEAD here. Other examples are useful, though are not determinative. According to policy, the lead was simply too long (well, it was at the far outside of what is "allowed" by the policy, if not strictly outside it). Moreover, in terms of writing, it was really quite ugly before, too hard to even figure out what the lead meant because of the insertion of so many accidental looking digressions.
In terms of actual content, I did make the judgment to remove the sentence about the change in districting rules that preceded Milk's successful run. I have no idea (nor does anyone) whether Milk would have run absent that change, nor whether he would have won if he had run for an at-large seat. Obviously, that change is worth mentioning in the main body, but I have trouble thinking that Milk's lasting world-wide legacy is about a minor change in SF supervisor districting rules (that was later changed again, FWIW). We have to deliberately leave stuff out of the lead to present the overall meaning in a more accessible way. LotLE×talk 19:49, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Dear Moni3, please don't gasp when you see what I did to your lead. I came across this page and decided to learn more about the person behind the name (I'm from California, but I wasn't so aware of politics back then). I felt that the lead read like a synopsis of every campaign of Milk's life, rather than a short, crisp rundown of who he was and what makes him notable. I admit that something is still missing; I would actually like a different, succinct, summarizing sentence in the first paragraph, instead of the one I kept, but I hope you'll agree that notability should drive the lead, not biography. All the best, Yoninah (talk) 23:06, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

So it's my lucky day to find the drawing and quartering of a lead written by experienced FA writers for your preference? I should pay the lottery. I hope you note that by moving information from the lead to the body of the article you duplicated points already made. Shall we leave this leave this, or remove and take out the repetitive and repetitive redundancies? --Moni3 (talk) 23:16, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I tried not to be redundant. You can definitely take out the redundancies in the article. Please see my (and other editors) comments at the very bottom of this talk page for more ideas about improving the lead. Yoninah (talk) 23:28, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Word stew examples

This sentence reinserted by Moni3 is a good example of the "word stew" that has crept into the article:

Milk's election and the events following his assassination demonstrated both the liberalization of the population and political conflicts between the city government and a conservative police force.

Other than having a vaguely "feel good" tone to it, I haven't the foggiest idea what it actually means! It looks like the sort of filler sentence the newspaper insert bio profiles use, and nothing at all like one expects in an encyclopedia. There probably is some more elaborated point that this sentence is meant to stand for, and that can and should be explained in the body. But as is, when a new reader (like me a couple days ago) sees that in an article lead, the only possible reaction is to cringe at the bad writing... and possibly be put off from reading on. LotLE×talk 20:00, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Here's another bit of useless verbosity (that isn't even grammatical). Moni3 inserts an extra pseudo-clause at the end of the first sentence of the lead:

Harvey Bernard Milk' (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

For one thing, it's not quite grammatical. For another thing, it's factually wrong, or at least misleading: Milk isn't only the first public official to be elected "as SF super", but the first in California generally (there wasn't some other guy that was, e.g. mayor Santa Barbara earlier). But more than either of those faults, it's just unnecessary throwing in of random clauses. We have a whole paragraph of the lead to discuss Milk's political runs. Being kind to readers, we can state the general fact that gives his notability in the first sentence, and expand on that in the next paragraph. There's a tendency here on WP for enthusiastic writers to try to get everything into this very sentence. Good writing spaces it out a little, and lets sentences flow more naturally. LotLE×talk 20:06, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Weasel words. Let's look at some of the "connotative but meaningless" clauses that had been in the lead a couple days ago:

  • He felt compelled to become involved in local politics and ran.... Really?! He "felt compelled"? How do we know this? Have we obtained his psychiatric confessions or something? Are we sure he didn't just "want to" (absent compulsion). Moreover, the "color" of this pop-psychological exploration adds nothing factual to the more direct "He ran...".
  • ...secretive well into his adult years. This just makes me cringe for its value judgment. How far is "well" into?! Maybe it's only "slightly into". Giving an actual age or years would be better here. Trying to insinuate "too far into" is just editorializing.
  • Not really weasel, just unnecessary circumlocution: His experience in the counterculture of the 1960s led him... C'mon, why are we sticking in more words when fewer words do exactly the same thing?! What other than someone's "experience with Foo" would cause Foo to affect a person. It actually does border on a WP:PEACOCK word in its effort to insinuate "something more" without actually stating anything (if we could say "Milk worked with SDS" or something like that, that would make the "experience" concrete; as is it's just three words of gibberish.

LotLE×talk 20:19, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Approaching an asymptote

Clearly I disagree. Look, I'm not against constructive criticism and suggestions, but I spent a lot of time and effort writing this article. It went through a rigorous GA and FA review, and the archives will show long discussions about content—what should be included or discarded. The issues you mention have already been discussed in previous threads by editors who were involved in the assessment or copy editing of the article. Like anyone who concentrates for long periods of time, I recognize that there are times I can't see the problems because I am too familiar with the construction, but I would like you to appreciate the collective effort that went into the article. I bristled when I read your flippant edit summaries; these issues were pored over by me and a few other editors. (I could stand not to have my efforts called useless, for example.)

So I incorporated your changes with restoring some of the lead before your alterations. I think the Cloud statement should remain (he writes for Time and The Advocate, among other publications), because I believe a well-written lead should end with a punch. Definitive quotes do that; many of the other articles I have written also include lead structure similar to this. As for length, I think that is one of the many things open to interpretation on Wikipedia. I think the length of the lead is fine, and it seems to be a recent trend in the FACs I've participated in to summarize the major points of the article in the lead. This one is long because the article covers a lot of information.

A related suggestion: WP:FAC needs reviewers. It may be mutually beneficial for you to review articles up for FA. You can see what is being asked of articles there. --Moni3 (talk) 20:26, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate, Moni3, that you did not wholesale revert. Thank you. I just stuck back in the John Cloud quote as a bit of concession. I still really don't like how it represents one specific POV in the lead, but it is a quote I also like, as I've written above. Maybe you can do me a favor: I wikilinked John Cloud, but I'm pretty sure it's the wrong guy now. Can you create an article (even a stub) to the right Cloud, so that we can at least link to him. Readers really will wonder "who the heck is this guy who needs to be quoted in the lead?!" To do that for someone who isn't even notable enough for Wikipedia... well, reads weird. LotLE×talk 20:38, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Btw. Let me step back and thank you further for your wonderful work on the article, Moni3. In fact, let me comment with something a bit "meta". Like you, I've worked on lots of biographical articles of "controversial" figures. I know painfully well that there is a tendency for detractors of a prominent person to come in and try to create a critical spin to the article... and during my time editing those bios, I tend to get a really heightened suspicion about editors new to an article (especially ones who come in with as much bluster as I have :-)).
At the same time, I also know that as articles reach consensus, especialy where that requires negotiating partisan mindfields, they often also become really stilted in their prose. The language goes through these tweaks where the pro- and con- editors try to find something halfway in the middle that doesn't quite say anything anyone is offended by, but thereby winds up not saying anything at all. In these cases, fresh eyes are desperately needed to hack away the detritus.
On the third hand: I really am highly sensitive to length concerns. It is so very much easier to add more words to articles than to remove them to gain precision and friendliness. On the curve of WP editors, I'm certainly up there at 2+ sigmas in my cringing at needless words. My formal concern has very often been confused by other editors with an opinion about content (on the contentious articles that seem to attract me, that's usually read as pro- or con- about the subject of the article). My concern on this article is (at least so far) purely formal (though I do think its subject is a good, important, and positive political figure... just as my personal opinion). LotLE×talk 20:50, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Well into: He didn't start advocating that gays should come out until he was about 45 years old. Randy Shilts offers Milk was having homosexual experiences at 14. You want an actual number of how many years spanned between his first homosexual experience and the was the first time he urged someone else to come out? The lead summarizes. I don't care if the "well" is discarded, actually, but there are reasons each of these words and sentences are included.
    • He felt compelled due to the information and quote cited at the end of the Changing politics section: "I finally reached the point where I knew I had to become involved or shut up".
    • Did everyone who lived through the late 1960s grow their hair, stay stoned for 3 years, and completely rebel against their previous political beliefs? Barry Goldwater, for example? The counterculture itself does not change a person; one's experiences being involved in the counterculture does that.
    • Interestingly enough, I could not understand your changes to Milk's election and the events following his assassination demonstrated both the liberalization of the population and political conflicts between the city government and a conservative police force. Your version made no sense to me. However, information in the lead should introduce to the reader that his election was a result of the massive political power gained by the gay community in San Francisco in the 1970s (the first gay community in the US and the largest in the world really was quite a social phenomenon), and his assassination, Dan White's trial, and the ensuing White Night riots were just as much a result of the conflicting values between conservative and liberal forces in the city.
      • Huh? My changes were removal of that sentence altogether. I'm not sure what is to "not understand" about the absence of the sentence. Your conclusions about what caused what though, is pretty obviously WP:SYNTH. LotLE×talk 21:26, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
        • What? The point that Milk was elected because in 1976 San Francisco voters decided to give neighborhoods the ability to choose their own supervisors, and Milk was in the middle of the gayest neighborhood in the world, telling gays to have hope, depend on each other, etc., is not synth. It's the virtual backbone of Shilts' biography, and a significant portion of Frances FitzGerald's 2 part articles on the Castro, and Karen Foss' article on how Milk won his fame as an outsider (Harvey Milk vs. The Machine). Neither is it synth to include the point that the gay invasion was bitterly resented by the San Francisco police, that they supported Dan White (he was an ex-cop), the prosecutor at White's trial felt sorry for him and the jury completely sympathized with his confession of how and why he shot the mayor and a city supervisor in broad daylight. The White Night riots were the physical manifestation of these political and social tensions. This is not synth. Mike Weiss' book on the assassinations and trial as well as Shilts cover these issues. The article touches on all of them. It's cited. Milk's rise and murder were the culmination of social changes. It's significant to introduce this in the lead. --Moni3 (talk) 21:45, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
          • My WP:CRYSTAL ball is not as accurate as yours apparently. I do not know for a fact that Milk would not have been elected to an at-large seat. Elections exist to actually measure votes, if their outcomes were objectively determinable without voting... well, things would be different.
          • In any case, I cannot fathom what this comment on the district vs. at-large election has to do with the word-soup sentence I removed about "liberalization of the population, etc", since that sentence says nothing about districting rules.
          • I think you really, really should step back from your attachment to some words you wrote, give it a day or two, and try to read the changes with fresh eyes. The plain fact is that the lead as of a couple days ago was extremely difficult to read, being full of contorted, awkward and overlong descriptions of tangential details. I know this having read it fresh, you don't having worked on it for a longer time. 99%+ of readers are ones who are not already in the thick of small points of long biographies. Most of your arguments for including small details depend on a prior knowledge of many things that most readers don't know. Being pedantically correct in some sense doesn't excuse writing that is incomprehensible to readers. LotLE×talk 21:56, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Assuming for the moment that you trust the sources made the points that Milk was simultaneously a result and symbol of the liberalization of San Francisco (from Haight-Ashbury in 1967 to Castro in 1977), and without the massive influx of gays into the city to comprise 25% of the voting population in 10 years' time he would not have earned such popularity, how would you introduce this to the lead? Similarly, how would you state that there were institutions in the city that resisted the aforementioned Haight-Ashbury/Castro social changes, and this resistance resulted in the double murder of Milk and the mayor, and the murderer received a pitifully short sentence? One sentence, because, of course, we want the lead to be concise.
  • I appreciate that you think I should step back. But the point should be made. How would you make it? --Moni3 (talk) 22:13, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't think that most (or any) of the points you mention just above should be in the lead. They all read like advocacy of a certain political perspective rather than factual encyclopedic material. FWIW, I share your political perspective, but the encyclopedia isn't a soapbox to force-feed readers the correct understanding of political histories. Neutral and factual is what we want, readers can form their own opinions from facts.
  • ... I do probably have a somewhat different belief about Dan White's murders than you do: I am a bit skeptical that he acted out of a broad zeitgeist and in reflection of broad social trends. He seems to have been a disturbed man with psychological and personal problems, but that doesn't make him a barometer of the nationwide political climate as is usually mythologized. Obviously, the reactions to the murders is something broader, but the acts themselves seem more individual. LotLE×talk 23:01, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Good gracious, these are not my opinions. These reflect points made by reliable sources. Not, mind you, a random opinion of a nutcase writer, but a significant portion of backstory and weight dedicated to the subject from the sources I used. My opinion on why Milk was elected, or why White shot him are irrelevant. You are, essentially, removing points that reliable sources have made because you prefer a short lead. I think it harms the article. --Moni3 (talk) 23:12, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm in the middle of a home renovation during a few days off and I do not have the time right now to construct an article for John Cloud. Perhaps his link can be changed to John Cloud (writer) for accuracy. --Moni3 (talk) 21:07, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference cloud was invoked but never defined (see the help page).