The US Navy is building a ship that they are naming after a true American hero. Harvey Milk (1930-1978) was an inspiring LGBT activist who in 1978 became the first openly gay elected official in California history. On November 27 1978, Milk, a highly effective member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and mayor George Moscone were assassinated by another city supervisor. But before all that, Milk served in the Navy. That is, until his superiors found out Milk was gay and forced him to resign. From CNN:
More than 60 years later, the Navy began construction Friday on the USNS Harvey Milk, a new oiler ship that will resupply fuel to other ships at sea.
"(This) sends a global message of inclusion more powerful than simply 'We'll tolerate everyone,'" Stuart Milk said at a ceremony in San Diego, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. "(It says) We celebrate everyone."
From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Nicole Murray Ramirez, the chairman and executive director of the San Diego International Imperial Court Council, an LGBT organization, was a leader in the push to name a vessel after Milk.
"When 'don't ask, don't tell' was lifted, I researched, and one guy picks all these (ship) names — the Secretary of the Navy," Ramirez said.
His organization, which has chapters nationwide, organized a national letter-writing campaign in 2011 to push then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to name a ship for Milk.