San Francisco airport won't be renamed Harvey Milk

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Associated Press

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 7 at 4:35 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco lawmaker said Tuesday that he has abandoned a proposal to rename San Francisco International Airport after slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk and instead plans to pursue getting an airport terminal named in Milk's honor.

Supervisor David Campos said he gave up on the idea of putting a question on the city ballot asking voters to approve the name change after the plan generated a fair amount of opposition, including from the city's daily newspaper and Mayor Edwin Lee.

Some fellow politicians, business leaders and members of the public wanted the airport renamed after someone else or no one at all, Campos said.

Campos now plans to introduce an ordinance establishing a committee that would recommend which of San Francisco International's four passenger terminals should be named for Milk.

The committee, to be appointed by the mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, will have three months to come back with its recommendation. It also will be asked to suggest other airport structures that could be named in honor of other prominent San Franciscans.

"We wanted to do it in a way that was a unifying thing as opposed to having a political fight," Campos said of the compromise. "And we believe that is the best way to honor Harvey."

Milk's nephew, Stuart Milk, who travels the world talking about gay rights as the head of a foundation named for his late uncle, said he thinks the airport's international terminal would be the most meaningful choice. Harvey Milk already is recognized abroad, with a gay community center named for him in Italy and a gay rights celebration observed in his honor in Chile.

"We have work to do in the U.S., don't get me wrong, but where Harvey was 35 years ago is where so much of the world is today, so I think that is what resonates the most," Stuart Milk said.

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