Navy to name ship after gay rights icon Harvey MilkTop Highlights, Around the Nation, Breaking News Thursday, July 28th, 2016
The Navy is set to name a ship after the gay rights icon and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, according to a report by USNI News.
According to the report, the July 14 notification, signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, indicated he intended to name a planned Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206). The ship would be the second of the John Lewis-class oilers being built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, Calif.
San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez a longtime gay- and Latino rights activist launched the national campaign in partnership with the Harvey Milk Foundation and the International Court System (a charitable services membership organization with chapters in 68 cities.) in San Diego in April 2012.
Speaking from Los Angeles Murray Ramirez told San Diego LGBT Weekly today, “I’m truly overwhelmed with emotion at the news, because coming from a military family – a father served in the Army and a gay brother who served in the Navy – to me this will be a salute from America acknowledging the service and history of our LGBT service people since the revolutionary war.”
Murray Ramirez continued, “And I am especially proud of the leadership role the Imperial Court System members and San Diego took in the long campaign.”
Milk joined the United States Navy during the Korean War. He served aboard the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) as a diving officer. He later transferred to Naval Station, San Diego to serve as a diving instructor. In 1955, he was discharged from the Navy at the rank of lieutenant, junior grade.
Harvey Milk’s father, William Milk, also served on a submarine during World War II. His mother, Minerva Karns, was an early feminist activist who joined the Yeomanettes, a group agitating for the inclusion of women in the US Navy during World War I.
Following his service, Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors and was the first openly gay California politician to be elected to office. He was killed in office in 1978.
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