The Navy will name a ship after gay rights trailblazer Harvey Milk, 40 years after he was gunned down by San Francisco city supervisor Dan White.
A notification signed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus indicates he intended to name a planned Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk.
Milk came from a Navy family and was in the service himself, serving a diving officer in San Diego during the Korean War before being honorably discharged as a lieutenant junior grade. (Milk was wearing his U.S. Navy diver’s belt buckle when he was assassinated.)
The honor “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.
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.