SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco Gay Rights leader Harvey Milk will have a new U.S. Navy ship named after him. On Tuesday, August 16, the United States Navy made the announcement. Milk was a former San Francisco Supervisor who became one of the first gay elected officials. He was killed in 1978 by his colleague Dan White in 1978.
Earlier in his career he has served as a sailor. The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus wrote on Twitter “#SECNAV has announced intention to name next John Lewis-class oiler, T-AO 206, USNS Harvey Milk. @HMilkFoundation pic.twitter.com/QbmI1Po6NQ.”
The announcement ceremony was held at Treasure Island. Family members, members of the LGBT community and elected officials were present. According to the SECNAV, Milk served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. The ship is known as a Lewis-class oiler. There are six ships in total and all will be named after civil and human right leaders.
“Even after death, his voice still spoke, his struggles continued, and his cause taken up by countless others,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation incidated that “My uncle had the courage to go in with the hate mail and the death threats every day, because he dreamed and he saw this type of day, so I don’t think he’d be surprised.”
According to Milk, the ship being named after his uncle will help show that the country is strengthened by its diversity. “The world’s largest and most powerful military can embrace everyone, then certainly the rest of the world can come along,” said Stuart Milk.
Construction for the ship will begin 2019. The ship will be in service approximately 2021 on Treasure Island.