US Navy launches ship named for gay rights activist Harvey Milk

The USNS Harvey Milk is a replenishment oiler, which refuels plane carriers at sea.

“He made a distinction. That is the form of naval chief that we want,” stated Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro through the christening ceremony.

The ship was co-sponsored by US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who was the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors when Milk served on the board. She publicly introduced Milk’s assassination in 1978 on the age of 48. He was the primary brazenly homosexual elected official within the state of California.

The christening was attended by Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk, who’s the co-founder of the Harvey Milk Basis. Due to Covid-19 protocols, the occasion was not open to the general public.

The USNS Harvey Milk is without doubt one of the oilers in a category named after Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, which additionally contains vessels named for Sojourner Fact, Lucy Stone and Robert F. Kennedy.

Who was Harvey Milk?

Milk served within the Navy as a diving officer through the Korean Conflict, at a time when homosexual service members weren’t allowed to brazenly acknowledge their sexuality.

Throughout his time as a diving teacher in San Diego, California, within the Fifties, his supervisors caught him at a park fashionable with homosexual males, in keeping with his nephew Stuart Milk.

In 1955, after the Navy formally questioned him about his sexual orientation, he was made to resign with the rank of lieutenant junior grade.

Milk was one of many first brazenly homosexual politicians elected to workplace in the USA, and the primary brazenly homosexual official elected in California.

After transferring from New York to California, Milk helped begin the Castro Village Affiliation, one of many first predominantly LGBTQ-owned enterprise teams within the nation. In 1977, he was elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

Whereas serving as a metropolis supervisor, Milk launched laws to guard the homosexual group, together with a homosexual rights ordinance in 1978 to ban discrimination towards LGBTQ in housing or employment. He and different activists additionally succeeded in putting down Proposition 6, which might have mandated the firing of homosexual or lesbian academics in California.

Lower than a yr after Milk was inaugurated as metropolis supervisor, he and Mayor George Moscone had been shot to dying within the San Francisco Metropolis Corridor by a former fellow metropolis supervisor over a job dispute.

When his killer was sentenced to seven years, riots broke out over what many perceived to be a lenient sentence.

CNN’s Harmeet Kaur and Amy Woodyatt contributed reporting.

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