11/17/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Open Letter to Sen. Feinstein

Senator Feinstein:

In the current edition of Out Magazine, there is a feature by Michael Joseph Gross on his experience on the set of MILK and his interaction with the actors portraying the characters in the film. There is one paragraph that stood out HUGELY to me:

Milk was the Barack Obama of his time and place. When he ran for the board of supervisors, Milk made grand promises to heal deep social tensions in his city. At his swearing-in, he said, "A true function of politics is not just to pass laws, but to give hope." Dianne Feinstein, then president of the board, responded, "Hope is fine, but you can't live on hope."

That pessimism seems to still be a large factor in your leadership style, even when it is desperately needed. At a time when Prop 8 hangs in the balance and threatens to deal an enormous setback to the fight for equality for the LGBT community, politicians have been silent for far too long. One of those politicians is you.

Your statement opposing Prop 8 is insufficient and borders on disrespect to our community. You announced the murder of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone to the world from the steps of San Francisco City Hall. You have not only seen first-hand the horror that results from discrimination, but have had to deal with its aftermath.

That you have not joined with the campaign to actively and vocally oppose this awful assault on civil equality is shameful. At a time when a film about Harvey Milk is about to be released to the widest audience ever and is generating a significant amount of Oscar buzz, I hope you will find it within your soul to actively join the fight to defeat Prop 8.

Your political career was catapulted by the death of one of our icons and heroes. It's time you honored Harvey Milk and your own place in history by giving voice to what he would say about Prop 8 if he were not savagely taken from us that fateful day in 1978. Paraphrasing your own words, we can't just hope Prop 8 won't pass... we need 'all hands on deck' to defeat it, including you.

Humbly submitted with Hope and Respect,

Lane Hudson