In The Navy: Congressman, Activists Push For U.S.S. Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk has been honored with a plaque in the Castro, given a Presidential Medal of Freedom, been the subject of a documentary and award-winning film, and will pretty soon have a street named after him in San Diego.

But if advocates have their way, the late civil-rights activist will also receive a rather unique honor: a naval ship named the U.S.S Harvey Milk, reports the San Diego LGBT Weekly.

Milk was stationed with the Navy during the Korean War, and served as a diving instructor aboard the U.S.S. Kittiwake. Teaming up with the Harvey Milk Foundation and the International Court System, The GLBT Historic Task Force of San Diego sent a letter last week to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, requesting “Harvey Milk be considered as the namesake of a naval submarine, carrier or other vessel named.”

It’s not so surprising San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez is helping to champion the cause: She and Milk were friends back in the 1970s. Congressman Bob Filner (D-California), who is also supporting the initiative, told the Weekly that it would be “a fitting tribute to Mr. Milk’s support for equality, an ideal exemplified in the military’s recent repeal of its former Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.”

Filner is the past chair and the current ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

What’s the next honor we can expect to see Milk receive? Commissioner Murray Ramirez revealed there’s a plan to get a stamp released by the U.S. Postal Service. “[The] Selection Committee has informed us that Harvey Milk will be put into consideration for the possibility of a stamp in his honor.”


If you want to help get a naval ship christened after Harvey Milk, send a letter to The Hon. Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 203501-001.