The U.S. Navy will name a ship after gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk, 38 years after his assassination by San Francisco city supervisor Dan White. The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has officially indicated he intends to christen a military oiler the USNS Harvey Milk.
The honor “will further send a green light,” said Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, “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 came from a Navy family and, at the age of 21, served as a diving instructor in San Diego during the Korean War, decades before the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. An honorable discharge as a lieutenant junior grade led to his entering politics. He was proud of his service and in fact he was wearing his U.S. Navy diver’s belt buckle when he was slain.