Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY12:16p.m. EST January 15, 2013
San Francisco International Airport could be renamed in honor of civil rights leader Harvey Milk if a city supervisor there gets his wish.
San Francisco city supervisor David Campos says he plans to introduce legislation today that could let voters vote on whether to rename the West Coast gateway the “Harvey Milk-San Francisco International Airport.”
If five other city supervisors back Campos’ proposal, the question will be put to San Francisco voters in November’s election. Campos said he had four supporters for his proposal as of Monday.
The San Francisco Chronicle has the full story, writing:
“Campos said about 80 other U.S. airports are already named for individuals, none of whom are gay, and that SFO — which moves 40 million passengers annually, including 9 million international travelers — has a particularly high profile. He believes it would cost between $50,000 and $250,000 to implement, citing the cost other cities have incurred to do the same, but said he hopes to attract private donations to fund the change.”
Milk became a nationally known figure for being one of the first openly gay men to be elected to a public office in the USA, winning a seat on the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1977.
The Associated Press writes Milk “inspired a generation of activists with his uncompromising call for gays to come out.” He was assassinated in 1978, gunned down at City Hall along with then-Mayor George Moscone. Milk’s story was featured in the 2008 Oscar-winning film “Milk.”
Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, endorsed Campos’ plan to rename the airport in memory of his uncle.
“For young gay people in an illegal place looking up at a monitor and being able to point to this international airport named after an LGBT advocate, it gives them the green light to authenticity,” Milk tells AP, noting there are 68 countries where homosexuality is outlawed. “It’s a major representation that (they) are being celebrated somewhere in the world in a high-level way.”