The USNS Harvey Milk Will Join the Navy Fleet

Jim Burroway

July 28th, 2016

Ensign Harvey Milk

Ensign Harvey Milk

USNI News, from the U.S. Naval Institute, is reporting that the U.S. Navy is set to name a ship after gay rights activist Harvey Milk:

The July 14, 2016 notification, signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, indicated he intended to name a planned Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206). The ship would be the second of the John Lewis-class oilers being built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, Calif.

…The Secretary of the Navy’s office is deferring additional information until the naming announcement, a Navy official told USNI News on Thursday.

Mabus has said the John Lewis-class – named after civil rights activist and congressman Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) – would be named after civil rights leaders.

Other names in the class include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren whose court ruled to desegregate U.S. schools, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, women’s right activist Lucy Stone and abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

Mabus has also named ships in the past for other civil rights icons, including the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13) and USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14).

Milk entered the Navy in 1951 and served on the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake, which was based in San Diego. He was honorably discharged in 1955 as a lieutenant junior grade. Both of his parents had also served in the Navy. Huffington Post reports that Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) organized a letter writing campaign to push for naming a ship after Milk:

“This action 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,” said Filner in a statement. The southern California legislator is the Democrats’ ranking member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and is also in the process of running for mayor of San Diego.

…“This action by the US Secretary of the Navy 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 to San Diego LGBT Weekly.

Joseph Singer

July 29th, 2016

Conservative heads exploding everywhere.

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