Gay activist Harvey Milk is among the 13 new inductees to the California Hall of Fame, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced Tuesday.

According to the California Museum's website, the California Hall of Fame was created to “honor legendary people who embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”

Shriver founded the Sacramento-based museum in 2006.

“Harvey Milk is truly deserving of this honor – his tremendous legacy is still felt today worldwide,” Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California (EQCA), said in a statement.

Milk is the first openly gay elected official from a major U.S. City. He was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 on a pledge to back gay and lesbian rights. Milk was killed by Dan White, a former supervisor, the following year.

Earlier this month President Obama awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony. Obama also recognized tennis great Billy Jean King, who publicly announced she was a lesbian in 1981, becoming the first openly lesbian major sport figure in America. King was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Milk encouraged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens to live their lives openly and believed coming out was the only way they could change society and achieve social equality,” the White House said in announcing this year's sixteen recipients.

Kors has used both honors to urge Schwarzenegger to sign State Senator Mark Leno's proposed bill that would set aside May 22 to honor the gay rights leader. State senators have already approved the plan and the Assembly is expected to follow. But last year the governor vetoed a similar measure, calling Milk a community leader whose contributions “should continue to be recognized at the local level by those who were most impacted by his contributions.”

“We urge Governor Schwarzenegger to take the next step in recognizing Harvey Milk's courageous work championing equal protections for all, just as President Obama has, and to sign the Harvey Milk bill into law as a tribute to his invaluable contributions to our state and nation,” Kors said.

Critics of the bill say Milk is undeserving of his own day. “It's a day that celebrates the history of a gay individual for being gay,” Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute, told News 10, the Sacramento ABC affiliate, last year.

“It's crazy,” she added.

Also being inducted on December 1 at the California Museum are entertainer Carol Burnett, former Intel chief executive Andy Grove, former Governor Hiram Johnson, decathlete Rafer Johnson, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, peace activist Joan Kroc, artist Fritz Scholder, author Danielle Steel, bodybuilder Joe Weider and Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager.