By Anna Peirano
Equality California is reporting that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is planning to move forward with a proposal to rename San Francisco International Airport the Harvey Milk International Airport.
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who is an out gay man, will introduce the legislation on Tuesday and propose placing on the city’s November ballot the question of renaming the site. It will take five of Campos’ colleagues to agree to submit the proposal and a passing of the charter amendment in the fall for the change to occur. Campos believes the Board of Supervisors could vote on the amendment in as little as two weeks.
Milk was a former San Francisco politician who was the first out gay man elected to public office in America when he won a seat on the board of supervisors in 1977.
“Renaming the airport for Harvey Milk would be an international symbol of hope and freedom, and an enormous educational opportunity,” said Equality California Executive Director John O’Connor in a statement. “People from around the world — including countries where being gay is still against the law — will learn about Milk’s great legacy. This is a chance to lead the world and affect positive change on a global scale.
Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, who runs an international gay rights foundation in his uncle’s memory, believes it would be a huge milestone. “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 said. “It’s a major representation that (they) are being celebrated somewhere in the world in a high-level way.”
The San Francisco airport has 59 airlines serving 105 airports and over 40 million passengers a year.
This would be the first airport in the world named after an LGBT icon, an honor usually reserved for former presidents.