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US The Navy made Harvey Milk resign for being gay. Now they’re building a ship named after him.

15:05  15 december  2019
15:05  15 december  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Now they ’ re building a ship named after him . San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk , left, and then-Mayor George Moscone sit together in the mayor's office Life after the Navy took Milk to New York, where he worked as a teacher, a stock analyst and a production associate for Broadway musicals.

Harvey Milk on Nov. 9, 1977, the day after he was elected as a San Francisco supervisor.Credit Associated Press. In 2012, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling on Mr. Mabus to name a ship for Mr. Milk , who served in the Navy from 1951 to

By the time Harvey Milk’s supervisors in the U.S. Navy officially questioned him about his sexuality, he had graduated from officer school and served as a diving officer on a submarine rescue ship during the Korean War.

Harvey Milk, George Moscone are posing for a picture: San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, left, and then-Mayor George Moscone sit together in the mayor's office in April 1977 during the signing of the city's gay rights bill. (AP)© AP/AP San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, left, and then-Mayor George Moscone sit together in the mayor's office in April 1977 during the signing of the city's gay rights bill. (AP)

Then his superiors caught him in a park that was popular with gay men, his nephew said. The sighting raised questions about Milk’s sexual orientation in an era when the military banned gay, lesbian and bisexual service members. Milk was forced to resign.

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“When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn’t tell anyone who he truly was ,” said San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener, who authored a resolution asking the navy to name a ship Other ships in the John Lewis-class of fleet oilers will be named after former supreme court chief justice Earl Warren

The US Navy is set to name a ship after gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk , according to a report by the US Naval Institute News. The tanker, which is yet to be built , will be called the USNS Harvey Milk , USNI News said. It cited a notification signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

In a move that signaled an about-face on the issue of gay rights, the Navy on Friday began to construct the USNS Harvey Milk, a fleet oiler that will provide fuel to ships and aircraft. The Navy announced in 2016 that Milk’s name would appear on a ship, along with other civil rights leaders including abolitionist Sojourner Truth and suffragist Lucy Stone.

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Joining the Navy was a tradition in Milk’s family. His Lithuanian-born father, William, and his mother, Minerva, both served, according to a biography on the website of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Milk studied math and history at New York State College for Teachers, which is now the State University of New York, before he enlisted and started Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I.

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Pioneering gay -rights activist and former Navy officer Harvey Milk is set to have a fleet oiler named after him , according to a leaked congressional notification. Mabus' office declined to comment on the issue until an official ship - naming release is sent out, spokesman Lt. Eric Durie told the Navy Times.

USNS Harvey Milk will be the second of the John Lewis class of underway replenishment oilers, operated by the Military Sealift Command to support ships of the United States Navy .

Life after the Navy took Milk to New York, where he worked as a teacher, a stock analyst and a production associate for Broadway musicals. He moved to San Francisco in 1972 and opened a camera shop in the Castro District, which was known for its gay community.

Milk quickly became a powerful local activist. He founded the Castro Village Association for LGBTQ-led businesses, sat on San Francisco’s Board of Permit Appeals and in 1978 was sworn in as a city-county supervisor.

In addition to advocating for policies that would affect all residents, Milk was also a fervent protector of gay rights. He joined others in opposing Proposition 6, a California ballot initiative that would have mandated firing gay teaches from public schools, The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. John Briggs, was defeated.

Milk urged gay people to proclaim their sexual orientations as a way to fight for equality.

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When he was shot, he was wearing his U.S. Navy diver's belt buckle. His nephew, Stuart Milk , said in 2012 that such a move would send a green light "As a gay man and a San Franciscan, I’m incredibly proud that the Navy is honoring Harvey Milk — and the entire LGBT community — by naming a

After his stint in the Navy , Milk continued his public service by becoming the first openly gay At the time of his death, he was wearing his Navy diving belt buckle. Actor Sean Penn won an Oscar for The USNS Harvey Milk will be the second oiler of its class built by General Dynamics in San Diego.

“We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions,” he said in a speech. “We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out.”

People regularly lobbed death threats at Milk, who created several iterations of his will in case he were to be assassinated. “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door,” he said in one version.

Milk’s prediction became reality on Nov. 27, 1978, when former Supervisor Dan White entered city hall through a basement window, killed Mayor George Moscone (D) and shot Milk several times. Moscone had decided days earlier not to reappoint White to the legislative body.

Dianne Feinstein, then a supervisor and now a Democratic senator from California, found Milk’s body and told people who gathered at city hall that Moscone and Milk, then 48, had been killed. White pleaded “diminished capacity” at trial because he had eaten a lot of sugar-heavy food before the killings.

Using that so-called “Twinkie defense,” a jury found White guilty of voluntary manslaughter, instead of murder. Riots and candlelight vigils took place to express outrage at the verdict. White served five years in prison and later killed himself.

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The ship , which is being built at NASSCO San Diego, will ultimately become a fleet oiler which will be used Stuart Milk said his uncle was forced to resign from the Navy in the 1950s after being caught in a San Diego To be honored now with a ship showed how much things have changed, he said.

California lawmakers have been pushing for a ship to be named after Milk following the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. The Navy will name a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler 'USNS Harvey Milk ' after the pioneering gay leader, according to a Congressional notification dated July 14, obtained by

In contrast with White’s suicide, which mostly went unnoticed by the public, Milk’s legacy lives on.

It wasn’t until more than a decade after his death that the Navy would have been barred from forcing Milk out for being gay. President Bill Clinton in 1993 signed a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which banned harassment of “closeted” service members but still banned openly LGBTQ people from the armed forces. President Barack Obama repealed the policy in 2011, opening the door for LGBTQ military members to reveal their sexual orientations.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2012 urged the secretary of the Navy to name a ship after Milk, one of the nation’s first openly gay elected officials. The answer to their request would come four years later.

“When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn’t tell anyone who he truly was,” Scott Wiener, then a San Francisco supervisor, wrote in 2016 when the Navy announced the ship’s name. “Now our country is telling the men and women who serve, and the entire world, that we honor and support people for who they are.”

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