A Congressional notification has indicated that the US Navy will name a ship after the late openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.
The Navy will name a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler ‘USNS Harvey Milk’ after the pioneering gay leader, according to USNI News.
Milk served as a diving officer from 1951 to 1955. He was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant junior grade.
California lawmakers have been pushing for a ship to be named after Milk following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
One of the first openly gay politicians in the US, Milk was killed a year after winning an election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The new ship was hailed as a big step forward in making the military more gay-friendly.
“We are making real progress in an institution that has historically tended to be homophobic,” San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener, who is gay, told SFGate. “Naming a ship after our great LGBT leader speaks volumes about where this country is and where this president is.”
Other civil rights trailblazers having ships named after them include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, women’s right activist Lucy Stone and abolitionist Sojourner Truth. Mabus previously named ships after civil rights leaders Medgar Evers and Cesar Chavez.