Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) on Tuesday called on Americans to "ensure that our laws reflect our national promise of equality and justice for all" in the spirit of Harvey Milk.

"On Harvey Milk Day, the state of California officially honors the life and legacy of a leader dedicated to the fundamental American value of equality," she said. "Harvey Milk was special in many respects, including that he was first: the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States."

Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California in 1977. Less than a year after being elected, Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by a former city supervisor. Dianne Feinstein, now a U.S. senator from California, first discovered Milk's body. Feinstein described the experience as "one of the hardest moments, if not the hardest moment, of my life."

“Harvey's public service ushered in a new era compassion, justice and opportunity – as he said, for everyone," Pelosi continued. "His legacy lives on today – through the efforts of his nephew, Stuart Milk, at the Harvey Milk Foundation, and through the campaigns of activists and advocates in California and across the country."

“His legacy lives on in you. Harvey gave us a green light and so many of you continue his work. Today that means our continued fight to end workplace discrimination, keep families and loving couples together, ensure the freedom to marry and repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act."

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on May 22, below: