US launches ship named after gay rights activist Harvey Milk

ROME, NOV 07 – The United States Navy has launched a ship named after a gay rights activist forced to resign due to his sexuality in the 1950s. USNS Harvey Milk was launched yesterday in San Diego, BBC reports online, in a ceremony attended by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro and Milk’s nephew Stuart. The one dedicated to Milk, (a character brought to the big screen in 2008 by Sean Penn in the film ‘Milk’ directed by Gus Van Sant for which the actor won the Oscar), is one of six new ships named after famous American civil rights leader. Others include former Chief Justice Earl Warren and Robert Kennedy assassinated on the night of June 5 to June 6, 1968 in Los Angeles. Milk served as a diving officer and lieutenant aboard the USS Kittiwake submarine rescue ship during the Korean War. But he was forced to leave the service after two weeks of questioning about his sexuality in 1955. He later became one of America’s first openly gay politicians, elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. But a year later he was shot dead by Dan White, a former superintendent with whom he had often clashed. When the Obama administration first announced plans to name a ship after Milk in 2016, it found many opponents that the activist disapproved of given his opposition to the Vietnam War. (HANDLE).

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