The US Navy is expected to announce it will name one of its new ships after LGBTI political pioneer, Harvey Milk, but not everyone’s ‘on board’.
The ship will be a replenishment oiler, a ship that replenishes the supplies (munitions, food an water, etc.) of other ships while at sea.
The statement came anonymously, but it’s believed a public announcement will be imminent.
However, navy secretary Ray Mabus said the new replenishment oilers from San Diego would be named after civil rights icons, including Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren and suffragist Lucy Stone.
Harvey Milk was murdered by his colleague while serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978.
Twenty years prior to that he served in the Navy himself as an officer in San Diego.
Randy Shilts, a journalist and friend of Milk’s described his naval career in his book The Mayor of Castro Street.
‘Harvey’s officer status allowed him the privilege of his own apartment off base in San Diego. He and his gay friends partied away their weekend passes there, cruising the main strip near the base for hitchhiking sailors.
‘”Hey, sailor, do you want to sleep on a concrete floor or a bed?” asked Harvey Milk, the patriot, after a perusal of the available material. The guests often would not know that Milk’s apartment had only one bed until they walked in the door.’
The announcement has angered conservative bloggers, who accuse the government of ‘ramming’ the memory of these people ‘down [their] throats’.
Matt Barber, a conservative pundit, erroneously calls Harvey a ‘pederast’ who ‘axiomatically acted upon, a deviant sexual appetite for underage, drug-addicted, runaway boys.’
Barber’s argument concerns Jack Galen McKinley, 16 when he and Milk met, and who became his lover for many years.
Although Barber’s account is correct insofar as McKinley was young when they met, and developed a drug and alcohol addiction: Milk’s romantic history suggests he often chose complex, emotionally troubled men for partners and made an earnest attempt to rehabilitate them.
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