U.S. Navy to name ship after gay rights activist Harvey Milk

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Harvey Milk during his Navy service.

Image: US Naval institute 

Gay rights activist and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk is set to receive a posthumous honor from the U.S. Navy, which will name a ship after him. 

The tanker, which is part of a series of ships named after civil rights leaders, will be named USNS Harvey Milk, according to the U.S. Naval Institute News, which quoted a Congressional notification. 

Milk, who served as a diving officer in San Diego during the Korean War before being honorably discharged, was one of the first openly gay politicians in the U.S.. 

Harvey Milk was a diving officer in the U.S. Navy before starting his career in politics.

After being elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors, he was killed in office in 1978. 

When he was shot, he was wearing his U.S. Navy diver’s belt buckle. 

His nephew, Stuart Milk, said in 2012 that such a move would send a green light “to all the brave men and women who serve our nation that honesty, acceptance and authenticity are held up among the highest ideals of our military.”

The news was greeted with joy by San Francisco politician Scott Wiener who penned a resolution at the Board of Supervisors in 2012 urging the Navy to name a ship after Milk. 

“This is an incredible day for the LGBT community and for our country,” he wrote

“As a gay man and a San Franciscan, I’m incredibly proud that the Navy is honoring Harvey Milk — and the entire LGBT community — by naming a ship after him.”

“This momentous decision sends a powerful message around the world about who we are as a country and the values we hold. When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn’t tell anyone who he truly was.”

“Now our country is telling the men and women who serve, and the entire world, that we honor and support people for who they are. Harvey Milk’s strength continues to reverberate throughout our city, our country, and the world.”

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