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San Francisco International Airport Set To Name Terminal In Honor of Harvey Milk

San Francisco is preparing to rename a terminal at the San Francisco International Airport after slain gay civil rights icon Harvey Milk

The name change was originally introduced in 2013 and was intended to re-name the entire airport after Milk, the first openly gay elected official in a major city, but the proposal met with opposition.

Instead, an airport naming committee was established, which recently recommended naming SFO’s Terminal 1 after Milk, who was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1977. He served in the post until he was gunned down at City Hall in 1978 along with Mayor George Moscone by former Supervisor Dan White

Today legislation introduced by Supervisor Hillary Ronen and co-sponsored by Supervisor Jeff Sheehy for the airport to make the change. The legislation requires the director of the airport to report to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor by Dec. 1 “describing the steps the Airport has taken and plans to take” to name the terminal after Milk and publicize it.

“In order to honor one of the nation’s great gay leaders, raise awareness of the history of the LGBT movement, and give hope to young LGBT people in cities everywhere, the Board of Supervisors finds it fitting that a terminal at the San Francisco International Airport be named in honor of Harvey Milk,” the legislation says.

“It’s a long time coming. It’s the gateway to San Francisco, and so recognizing Harvey and making that connection to our community is appropriate. Its beautiful,” said Sheehy during an editorial meeting with the San Francisco Examiner on Monday.

Ronen said given the rise in murders of LGBT people in the country and the current political climate with President Donald Trump, the gesture is more than just symbolic. She said it will help combat hate and bring “material change in people’s lives” when they may arrive and see “there’s a place where they belong.

Ronen said she also plans to amend the legislation to require the director to submit to the Arts Commission a plan for placement of artwork memorializing Milk in the terminal by September or October.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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