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San Francisco to consider renaming airport for gay icon Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk poses in front of his camera shop in San Francisco in November 1977.

Slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk could greet all airline passengers passing through San Francisco International Airport, if an effort to rename the facility after Milk succeeds.

Renaming SFO to "Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport" is the idea of Supervisor David Campos, according to reports.

A name change would have to be approved by voters at the November ballot, if enough officials agree to put it there.

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If the name change is approved, SFO would be the first airport in the United States named after an openly gay person, said Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk's nephew and a gay rights activist.

Milk, one of the first gay people elected to hold office in the United States, was shot and killed by a former politician in 1978. Mayor George Moscone was also killed.

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Forty-one million passengers use SFO every year, and 68 countries where homosexuality is illegal are serviced by SFO flights, Stuart Milk said. That would send a powerful message, he said.