The California state Senate has approved a resolution to name a U.S. Navy ship after gay rights trailblazer Harvey Milk!
But not without a little controversy, of course.
More after the jump!
Beyond his work as a gay rights activist and San Francisco supervisor, Milk was also a military veteran.
According to UTSanDiego, Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, carried the nonbinding resolution urging the Navy to honor Milk.
Kehoe said, “Harvey Milk led a change in how Americans think. Harvey Milk was a trailblazing leader in state and national politics for the advancement for full equality."
She continued saying the honor “would inspire future generations."
Republican Sen. Doug La Malfa of Richvale disagreed, arguing that the resolution was not being passed to honor Milk’s military career, but rather his work in support of the gay rights movement.
La Malfa said, “It isn’t because of that service ... It is because of a lifestyle choice. We appreciate the service but this is a little different agenda.”
Sure, you do La Malfa.
Other state Senators mentioned political figures like Cesar Chavez as examples of individuals that served in the military and were honored similarly, but are primarily known for their activism rather than their military service.
Clearly not done offending everyone that's not a homophobic bigot, La Malfa continued, suggesting that sailors would be “demoralized” serving on a ship carrying the name of a prominent gay figure.
“It’s going to be very bothersome and it’s going to be bad for the morale of our military forces,” he said. “This is political correctness moving a little farther out of control.”
If the name of a naval ship is enough to bring down the morale of our military forces, then there are probably bigger issues to look at with regards to military preparedness and the mission at hand.
Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, shot down La Malfa's argument saying he'd attended the christening of the Cesar Chavez naval ship.
“No one was demoralized — just the opposite. There was great spirit there,” Vargas said. “I think we should all support the naming of the ship after Harvey Milk. He was assassinated in office fighting for the things that make our country great.”
The resolution passed 25-8 with a vote along party lines.