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Navy Honors Gay Rights Advocate, Harvey Milk

The Navy officially honors Harvey Milk by naming a ship after him. Milk, who once served in the Navy and received an “other than honorable” discharge, later got involved in politics and was the first openly gay candidate elected to office.

Fox News reports:


Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Tuesday that Milk displayed tremendous courage fighting for the rights of the LGBT community. The ship is one of a new fleet of replenishment oilers that will be built in San Diego.

Milk’s career as a Navy officer, however, ended with an “other than honorable” discharge, due to allegations of fraternization with enlisted personnel.

Some argue that Milk was forced out of the military because he was gay. A defense official said Tuesday that Milk accepted the other than honorable discharge to avoid possible disciplinary action.

Milk became one of the first openly gay candidates elected to public office. He was serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 when a former political colleague, Dan White, assassinated him and Mayor George Moscone at City Hall.

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Chad Griffin, the president of the advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign, lauded the Navy honor for Milk, calling it “further evidence of the profound progress on LGBTQ equality we continue to make as a nation.”

“In his bold and unabashed advocacy, Milk inspired LGBTQ people for generations,” Griffin said in a statement.

For many, Harvey Milk was seen as a hero that pioneered the movement to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military. The ban on the LGBTQ serving was lifted in 2011 and was considered an important step for hope and progress. What do you think?

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