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Navy launches ship named for gay rights leader Harvey Milk

Milk served 4 years in the Navy before being forced out
USNS Harvey Milk
Posted at 1:33 PM, Nov 07, 2021

SAN DIEGO — A Navy ship named for slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk has been launched in San Diego Bay.

The replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk slid down the shipyard ways after a bottle of champagne was smashed on the bow in a christening ceremony Saturday.

Harvey Milk, Navy photo
David Campos, left, vice chair of the California Democratic Party, takes a selfie with Nicole Murray-Ramirez, center, an LGBT activist, holding a photo of Harvey Milk, and Bevan Dufty, right, director of the San Francisco Bay area rapid transit district, prior to the launching of the USNS Harvey Milk, a fleet replenishment oiler ship named after the first openly gay elected official, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 in San Diego. The Navy ship is the second of six vessels in the Navy's John Lewis-class program, second to the USNS John Lewis.

Milk served four years in the Navy before being forced out. He then 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.