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California Senate passes resolution urging Navy to name ship after Harvey Milk

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) said today that the Senate passed her resolution urging the Secretary of the Navy to name the next appropriate ship after Harvey Milk, the LGBT civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1978 at San Francisco’s City Hall.

"Harvey Milk was a trailblazing influence in state and national politics for the advancement of full equality for LGBT Americans. It is important that the legacy of Harvey Milk and other LGBT civil rights leaders, be recognized to inspire future generations,” Kehoe said.

“I particularly want to thank the Harvey Milk Foundation and the International Court Council for spearheading this effort,” she said.

Milk’s career as a public servant did not begin in politics, but in the Navy during the Korean War. He served aboard the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake as a diving officer and was later transferred to the San Diego Naval Station to serve as diving instructor. In 1955, he was honorably discharged from the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was named one of TIME Magazine’s most influential people of the 20th century. Numerous facilities and organizations are named after him, including the Harvey Milk Recreational Arts Center, the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, and the Harvey Milk Institute. The State of California has designated May 22nd annually as “Harvey Milk Day” and he has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

Senate Resolution 36 urges the Department of the Navy to name the next appropriate ship after Harvey Milk as a fitting tribute to Harvey Milk’s support for equality, an ideal highlighted in the repeal of the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.