Navy ship will be named for Harvey Milk, assassinated Gay Rights leader


AP

In a sign of changing times for the American military, the Navy plans to name a ship for Harvey Milk, the gay rights leader and San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated in 1978.

Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy, has notified Congress that he will name a fleet oiler for Mr. Milk, the first openly gay elected official in a major American city…

The move comes five years after President Obama ended the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a move that allowed gays, lesbians and bisexuals to serve openly. Last month, the Pentagon lifted restrictions on transgender people serving openly.

Gay rights activists and friends of Mr. Milk in San Francisco were already celebrating the long-awaited news. In 2012, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling on Mr. Mabus to name a ship for Mr. Milk, who served in the Navy from 1951 to 1955.

Mr. Milk has been the subject of books, movies, a postage stamp and an opera. He was played by Sean Penn in the 2008 movie “Milk,” for which Mr. Penn won an Oscar for best actor. A 1984 documentary, “The Times of Harvey Milk,” also won an Academy Award.

RTFA for a part of American history deliberately ignored by bigots, mostly of the Republican persuasion. Harvey Milk stands as a role model exactly like others to be so honored in coming months and years: Sojourner Truth, Earl Warren, Robert Kennedy, Lucy Stone.

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