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.


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  • Matt

    I don’t know, I think naming a tool of destruction and death after Harvey Milk sounds like an atrocious idea. Is this something he really would’ve wanted? Does the militarization of the gay community through its civil rights heroes signify a positive development for our movement?

  • Robert Lister

    I think the USS Harvey Milk would be a great idea. Our sea-men deserve the best, and the USS Harvey Milk would be FABULOUS!

    I only wish the world were ready for the USS Rue Paul.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Having a ship named after him is good. Pink and grey go good together. Anything that has people conversing about our community, even if it brings out the usual haters, is good. I do wish that the photo accompanying this article was a little more subdued. There are many photos from which to choose, especially given the subject matter of this article.

  • J

    It’s nice but unnecessary.

  • Donald

    Harvey Milk was in the Navy so it’s fitting.

  • Nicki

    I don’t think that people should forget that Harvey was a chickenhawk and into underage guys which is sick and wrong. The Harvey bio The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts describes this.

  • Michael Bedwell

    1. When did Nicole start identifying as female? While first famous in San Diego for his drag persona, I believe he still identifies as male.

    2. Harvey Milk would be thrilled with such an honor. Anyone who doubts it is one of the majority unaware that he was so proud of his Navy service that he continued to wear his Navy belt with its Master Diver buckle long after he left the service. In fact, he was wearing it at the moment he was assassinated. Photo of the belt from a San Francisco GLBT Historical Society exhibit can be seen here:

  • Dmitriy

    yes of course all the military does is kill people. what we really need to do instead is embrace Islam, like the far left continues to do…

  • Rory

    What the hell is the matter with all of you? The militarization of the gay community? I refuse to accept the grammar of that statement.

    It’s a stupid idea put forth by an asinine group just because Milk was gay. So because your genes are what they are, it qualifies you as an expert or an honorary figure? Please more babble. There is a tremendous amount of people deserving of having a ship in the U.S. fleet named after them for doing far more honorable things then being gay in San Francisco.

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