More stirring than Penn's words were the words of the film's screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who reflected:
When I was thirteen years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope to… one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe, even, I could even fall in love and one day get married.
I wanna, I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us thirty years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that, no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you, and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours.
In a country where civil rights are sacrosanct, how sad is it that two people, regardless of sexual-orientation, who choose a life together are not afforded the same rights by federal and state law. Fortunately justice speaks in a voice more eloquent than ignorance and, in Black's words "very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours" and we all will be the better for it.