The late gay rights activist and first openly gay man to be voted into office in California, Harvey Milk, will have a U.S. Navy ship named after him.
According to a Congressional notification obtained by U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News, the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus intends to name a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206). LGBT advocates have long campaigned for a ship to be named after the gay icon, even before the ban on open homosexuality in the military was lifted in 2011.
Milk came from a Navy family and later served as a diving officer from 1951. In 1955, he was honorably discharged from service with the rank of lieutenant junior grade. He went on to become the first openly gay elected official in California, but was gunned down in office in 1978 alongside Mayor George Moscone.
Other ships in the John Lewis-class of fleet oilers will also be named after civil rights leaders, including women’s rights activist Lucy Stone, the former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, reports USNI News.