Harvey Milk Honored by the US Navy

In August, the US Navy officially commemorated the new USNS Harvey Milk, the first navy ship to be named after a member of the LGBTQ community.

The Harvey Milk Foundation began campaigning for the ship naming in 2011 when President Obama repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell”, which allowed gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to serve openly in the military. “It is important to note that the Navy is not only celebrating someone who was openly gay but also now celebrating someone whom they themselves once did anything but celebrate: a person who they forced to resign simply because of who he was,” said Stuart Milk, Harvey’s nephew and leader of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Harvey Milk served in the US Navy from 1951 – 1955.

Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, said “It’s important to remember and honor naval heroes—sailors and marines who have sacrificed so much for America, but it’s also important to recognize and honor those who have fought in a different way and sacrificed, those who have fought for the ideals that we cherish as a nation: justice, equality, and freedom.”

Hayden’s List’s own Eric Wolf was very moved by the naming and said “Never in my life would I have thought that the USA would name a vessel after a LGBTQ person. It speaks to the love of him by straight allies.”

The USNS Harvey Milk will travel to many different ports. “It’s important to recognize that the ship named after Harvey will enter both civilian ports and military ports where it’s still illegal to be LGBT. We live in a global society. If any of us are not free, none of us are free.” Stuart Milk said.

Here at Hayden’s List, we give the US Navy a 10 out of 10.


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