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San Francisco lawmaker proposes renaming airport after Harvey Milk

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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A San Francisco lawmaker on Tuesday will introduce legislation seeking to rename San Francisco International Airport for slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

A charter amendment by Supervisor David Campos would place the proposal to rename the airport as Harvey Milk-San Francisco International Airport, and if approved, the city would become home to the world’s first airport honoring an openly gay person.

Harvey Milk

Stuart Milk, who runs an international gay rights foundation in his uncle’s memory, said that adding an airport to the list of public venues named for Harvey Milk would mark a milestone since flights to and from San Francisco International serve 68 countries where homosexuality is illegal.

“For young gay people in an illegal place looking up at a monitor and bein g able to point to this international airport named after an LGBT advocate, it gives them the green light to authenticity,” Milk told the Associated Press. “It’s a major representation that (they) are being celebrated somewhere in the world in a high-level way.”

Campos, who is openly gay, needs the support of six of the 11 Board of Supervisors members to get his measure placed on the November ballot.

“It’s appropriate for San Francisco at this time to recognize that members of the LGBT community are equal members of our society and to recognize the work of this hero. It sends a clear message of hope and civil rights, not just here but abroad,” Campos said.

In 2011, about 40 million passengers passed through San Francisco International, making it the seventh busiest airport in the U.S. and a major international gateway.

Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor, was one of the first openly gay politicians in the U.S. when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White at City Hall in 1978. His life became the subject of the 2008 Oscar-winning film “Milk.”

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