SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new poll taken by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has found that a large percent of likely voters oppose renaming San Francisco International Airport after slain gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk.

In the poll of 500 likely voters conducted at the end of January, 61 percent said they opposed the proposal to rename the airport, which was announced by San Francisco Supervisor David Campos last month.

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Milk became one of the first openly gay men elected to public office in the United States when he won a seat on the board of supervisors in 1977, inspiring a generation of activists with his uncompromising call for gays to come out.

He was assassinated at City Hall, along with Mayor George Moscone, more than a year later. His life became the subject of the 2008 Oscar-winning film “Milk.”

A petition in favor of the renaming has already gathered about 20,000 signatures, but Campos is still struggling to find a key sixth vote to place the measure on the November ballot.

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No supervisor has publicly opposed the proposal and Campos said the Chamber of Commerce poll is outdated because a lot has changed since it was taken.

About 41 million passengers pass through San Francisco International every year, “and the idea that millions of people can learn about Harvey Milk and what he represented is very moving,” Campos said when he introduced the proposal.

The poll also found wide-ranging support for the proposed Golden State Warriors waterfront arena, with 60 percent in support of the plan.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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