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Rep. Bob Filner calls for Navy to name ship for Harvey Milk

April 24, 2012 |  6:37 pm

Harvey Milk

Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego) has called on the Navy to name a ship after slain gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, who served as a Navy officer in the early 1950s.

In a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Filner said naming a ship after Milk "would be a great tribute to Milk's support for equality and in keeping with effort(s) to promote equality in our military after the recent repeal of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."

Milk served as a diving officer aboard a submarine rescue ship and later as a diving instructor stationed in San Diego.

Filner, a candidate for mayor of San Diego, said, "I will continue to work with the GLBT (gay-lesbian-bisexual-transsexual) Historic Task Force of San Diego County to promote the legacy of our nation's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk."

Milk was murdered on Nov. 27, 1978, while serving as a San Francisco supervisor.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Harvey Milk in front of his camera shop in San Francisco in 1977. Credit: Associated Press