The U.S. Navy’s plans to name a new oil tanker after Harvey Milk isn’t sitting too well with the Family Research Council (FRC).
FRC President Tony Perkins blasted the decision to honor the pioneering LGBT rights activist in a lengthy blog post. In it, Perkins argued that Milk, who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California in 1977, led a “less-than-honorable life” because of his sexuality.
“Although [Milk] served briefly in the Navy, nothing he did merits the kind of tribute [U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus] is giving him,” Perkins argued in the July 29 post. He then quoted the FRC’s Peter Sprigg, who fired off at the Obama administration in 2009 when Milk was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously: “Milk is famous only for winning one election, being murdered ― and having sex with men.”
“The Navy seems intent on following in the administration’s ridiculous footsteps and bestowing a great honor on someone primarily on the basis of his sex life,” Perkins, who is no stranger to anti-LGBT remarks, wrote. “A life marred by promotion of illegal drug use, sexual exploits, and lies doesn’t deserve one of the greatest military distinctions ― especially not with so many genuine heroes to choose from.”
Perkins’ remarks, of course, casually overlook Milk’s years in the navy, where he served on the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake from 1951 to 1955. Although Milk was honorably discharged at lieutenant junior grade, he was wearing his Navy belt buckle when he was fatally shot by former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White on November 27, 1978, the BBC reported.
Hate to rain on your bigotry parade, Tony ― but Milk certainly sounds like a noble hero to us.