A two-block street in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighbourhood will be re-named in honour of Harvey Milk to mark his 82nd birthday.

The San Diego City Council voted 8-0 yesterday to rename the street, currently called Blaine Street. The motion was proposed by Councilman Todd Gloria and seconded by Councilman Carl DeMaio, both of whom are gay.

Susan Jester, a gay rights activist, said: “Harvey Milk is to the gay community as Cesar Chavez is to the Hispanic community and Martin Luther King is to the African American community.”

His association with the city comes on account of his being stationed there when he was with the US Navy, though he is best known for his work in San Francisco.

Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, was the subject of an Oscar-winning film of the same name, starring Sean Penn as the slain politician, and James Franco as his lover.

In 2009, the former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger established May 22 as Harvey Milk Day