Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Navy secretary to oversee Milk ship naming ceremony in SF

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will be in San Francisco Tuesday, August 16 to preside over the ship naming ceremony in honor of Harvey Milk.

According to a news release from the Harvey Milk Foundation, Mabus will announce during the ceremony that the second ship of the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers (T-AO 206) will be named the USNS Harvey Milk after the civil and human rights leader who became one of the first openly LGBT elected officials in the U.S. when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.

(Harvey Milk in his Navy days. Photo: Courtesy GLBT Historic Task Force San Diego)

(Harvey Milk in his Navy days. Photo: Courtesy GLBT Historic Task Force San Diego)

Milk was assassinated a year later, in November 1978, by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White, who also killed then-Mayor George Moscone.

Milk served in the U.S. Navy and was on active duty during the Korean War. He trained as a deep-sea diver, and advanced to the rank of chief petty officer on the USS Kittiwake, according to a bio created by the organizers of the campaign to push for a USS Harvey Milk Navy vessel.

“Uncle Harvey knew that our individual actions of open authenticity would be the key to changing the lives of LGBT people everywhere,” said Stuart Milk, the gay nephew of Milk and co-founder of the foundation. “As a proud Navy veteran, Uncle Harvey was committed to public service, aided by courage, persistence, and the belief that our shared journey is enriched, and not weakened, by our diversity.”

Joining Mabus at the Treasure Island ceremony will be Mayor Ed Lee, and Kevin Faulconer, the mayor of San Diego, where the ship will be built. Other guests include Nancy Brinker, former U.S. ambassador to Hungary and a member of the Harvey Milk Foundation’s leadership and advisory board, and Anne Kronenberg, who was Milk’s campaign manager and political aide and a co-founder of the foundation.

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will also perform.

The ceremony takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. on the Great Lawn.

The Bay Area Reporter will have coverage of the ceremony in next week’s paper.

— Cynthia Laird, August 11, 2016 @ 3:49 pm PST
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