The GLBT Historic Task Force of San Diego County and Filner sent letters to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week asking for Harvey Milk to be considered as a name for a submarine, carrier or other appropriate vessel, according to a PR Newswire press release.
Milk, a late civil rights icon, was a Navy veteran who served aboard the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake as a diving officer during the Korean War. He went on to be a diving instructor at Naval Station San Diego. Milk, whose parents both also served in the Navy, was honorably discharged at the rank of lieutenant junior grade.
In his letter, Rep. Filner wrote “this action would be a fitting tribute to Mr. Milk’s support for equality, an ideal exemplified in the military’s recent repeal of its former Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” according to the press release.
The request comes after a series of controversial namings, such as the littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords or destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson, that have caused Congress to ask Mabus for a report due in June detailing the process that Navy uses to name ships.