By William M. Welch, USA TODAY
In the two years since the USS Midway found a permanent dock in San Diego Harbor, it has become a major tourist attraction.
The USS Iowa fires its guns during NATO exercises in 1985. It is among four "Iowa class" ships -- the biggest the Navy ever sailed.
File photo by Jeff Hilton, U.S. Navy
Nearly 900,000 people boarded the aircraft carrier in its first year of operation, rejuvenating shops and restaurants on the waterfront. The ship is booked years in advance for functions at up to $30,000 a pop.
Now the Navy has another ship it wants to bestow on a West Coast port: the big World War II battleship USS Iowa. But the ship has run into rough sailing and a harsh political headwind in the city the Navy thought would be an ideal home: San Francisco.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to spurn the ship. Supervisors who oppose the offer say they don't want a ship from a military in which openly gay men and women cannot serve. They also say they don't want it because they oppose the Iraq war, which city voters condemned in a 2004 ballot question.
"I don't think the climate has improved for tying a 10-story warship, or gun, to the waterfront," Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval says.
Veterans in the former Navy town are saying enough is enough.
"It's outrageous, even for San Francisco," Ingrid Sarembe, a Vietnam War-era vet and commander of an American Legion post in the city, says of the opposition to the Iowa. "And we have some pretty outrageous things going on here."
Well if it can make it across the pond we'll have it. Just don't park it off Brighton marina
No Gays -No Ship