In a move that is sure to piss off every anti-gay conservative in America, the United States Navy has announced that a ship will be named after a gay civil rights icon.
When San Francisco elected Harvey Milk to represent the 5th District on the Board of Supervisors in 1978 he became the first openly gay public official elected to an office in the history of the United States. Later that year, Milk was assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.
Milk fought for gay rights and has been and continues to be an LGBT hero. Democratic Rep. Bob Filner put Milk’s name up for consideration back in April after the GLBT Historic Task Force of San Diego spent two years writing letters to Mabus urging him to honor Milk with a ship that carries his name.
“This action by the US Secretary of the Navy will further 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,” Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk wrote for LGBT Weekly.
And now the Navy is naming a ship after him so that his name will sail the seven seas for years to come and show the world how much progress America has made since his death.
On July 14th, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus sent a letter to Congress informing them that he plans to name a Military Sealift Command ship after Milk. The ship would be the second such vessel to be named after a civil rights icon, the first being named after congressman John Lewis.
It’s even more fitting that a Navy vessel be named after Milk since naval service literally ran through his veins.
According to the United States Naval Institute,
Milk came from a Navy family and commissioned in the service in 1951. He served as a diving officer in San Diego during the Korean War on the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake until 1955. Milk was honorably discharged from the service as a lieutenant junior grade.
The announcement of the future USS Harvey Milk comes just over a year after the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage constitutional in all 50 states and nearly five years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which forced gay service members to hide their sexuality or be discharged from the military. Now, gay people are able to serve their country proudly and openly in the armed forces.
Featured Image: US Navy