Navy to name ship after gay rights hero Harvey Milk

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The gays rights activist already has a day, street and clothing line named after him.

The Navy is set to name a ship after the gay rights icon and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, according to a Congressional notification reports USNI News.

The notification – signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus – revealed the plan to name a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206).

Navy to name ship after gay rights hero Harvey Milk

Milk came from a Navy family and signed up in 1951. He served as a diving officer in San Diego during the Korean War on the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake until 1955.

He was honourably discharged from service as a lieutenant junior grade.

Milk went on to become the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, winning a post on the Board of Supervisors as a result of changes in the social makeup of San Francisco, following three unsuccessful attempts to gain office.

Having finally been elected in 1977, Milk only held his position for 11 months before being assassinated by Dan White, a former colleague who had lost his position in city administration.

Milk has is seen by many as a martyr for gay rights and championed as a visionary.

The decision to name the ship after the activist “will further send a green light 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,” said Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk in a statement.

However, this is not the first time Milk has been honoured in such a way.

Earlier this year, a street in Salt Lake City near the Mormon church’s headquarters was named after gay rights hero – after a unanimous council vote.

Navy to name ship after gay rights hero Harvey Milk

In 2014, the US post office unveiled a range of stamps to honour and thank Milk for his help in ‘liberating gay couples.’

And back in 2009 the state of California decided to make May 22 ‘Harvey Milk Day’, following a wave of publicity for the late activist.