Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

SF Pride leader says Manning’s pick as grand marshall was an employee error

Saturday, April 27, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — Racing to stanch a flow of criticism, the president of San Francisco’s annual gay pride celebration said Friday night that the U.S. Army private charged in a massive leak of U.S. secrets to the WikiLeaks website will not be an honorary grand marshal after all.

SF Pride Board President Lisa Williams said in a statement that an employee of the organization had prematurely notified imprisoned intelligence specialist Bradley Manning this week that he had been selected for the distinction, which recognizes about a dozen celebrities, politicians and community organizations each year for their contributions to the LGBT communities.

Bradley Manning

“That was an error, and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride,” Williams said.

A committee of former San Francisco Pride grand marshals did select the 25-year-old Manning, who is openly gay, for the honor, but the Pride Board decided his nomination would be a mistake, Williams said.

Manning’s lawyers have argued that his experience as a soldier before the repeal of the U.S. military’s ban on gay service played an important role in his decision to pass hundreds of thousands of sensitive items to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

“In point of fact, less than 15 people actually cast votes for Bradley Manning,” Williams said. “However, as an organization with a responsibility to serve the broader community, SF Pride repudiates this vote.”

While the event’s grand marshals are typically celebrated as they wave from convertibles during a downtown San Francisco parade, naming Manning as one was destined to be a symbolic gesture. He is in custody at a military prison in Kansas while he awaits court-martial and would have been unable to attend the June 30 parade.

Earlier Friday, Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked the classified information about the Vietnam War that became known as the Pentagon Papers, had agreed to participate in the San Francisco parade on Manning’s behalf, said Rainey Reitman, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network who had cheered the short-lived recognition.

“I and many other LGBT Manning supporters are deeply disappointed by this sudden change in position on the part of the committee,” Reitman said. “Bradley is a gay American hero who sacrificed a great deal so we could learn the truth about our government, and he was fairly elected to serve as grand marshal in the parade.”

Contingents of Manning supporters have marched in past pride parades, and will do so again this year in San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego and other cities, she said.

But other gay rights activists were less enthusiastic about celebrating Manning, arguing that he should not be honored either as an individual or as a representative of the gay rights movement.

“Manning’s blatant disregard for the safety of our service members and the security of our nation should not be praised,” said Stephen Peters, president of American Military Partners Association. The group, which advocates for same-sex military families, had called on the Pride Committee to rescind the invitation.

“No community of such a strong and resilient people should be represented by the treacherous acts that define Bradley Manning,” Peters said.

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: California

29 more reader comments:

  1. Lame. Everyone in this fucking country is terrified to know the evils our military performs abroad in our names.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:31pm
  2. How disappointing! B. Manning should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, let alone be an honorary grand marshal of Pride. Have LGBTQ Prides lost their minds? Their values? Their spines?

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:33pm
  3. Personally I think he’s a hero

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:35pm
  4. Cowardly politix.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:35pm
  5. I am sickened by all the ignorant comments made by LGBT folks about Bradly- the only one who managed to shed light on some of the darkest secrets on our government’s dirty wars…goes to show you just because you are gay, doesnt mean you are intelligent and caring.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:37pm
  6. oops!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:38pm
  7. BOOOOOO! Bradley Manning is a hero.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:39pm
  8. I, too, believe he deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize. I also believe that Obama’s should be taken away.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:40pm
  9. Excuse me Clarissa? As a veteran, those remarks are highly offensive and extraordinarily ignorant.

    Manning is a traitor and deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. His sexuality had nothing to do with leaking those documents and putting the lives of thousands of American and allied troops at risk. He was a weak, fragile boy who wanted attention. I served 4 years in the military and never once felt my sexuality was ever an issue, even before DADT was repealed.

    He can rot in hell for all I care. Having him as a grand marshal would do nothing but bring shame to the event, make it the laughing stock of the world.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:41pm
  10. Brandon, try thinking for yourself. Manning didn’t put anyone’s life at risk. (a common lie repeated endlessly) If anything he cares about the country more than the leaders who shipped off a bunch of soldiers to die in a war for oil. They’re the traitors, not him.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:54pm
  11. “The bodycount that resulted from Pfc Manning’s leaks have amounted to zero thus far, while his accusers stand bloody…

    “Pfc Manning, you will remember, is the young soldier who is soon to be court-martialled, accused of passing some 750,000 military and diplomatic documents, a large chunk of them classified, to the website WikiLeaks. Among those leaks, there was indeed some serious stuff about how the US dealt with civilians in invaded countries. For instance, the documents revealed that the US military, then the occupying force in Iraq, did little or nothing to prevent Iraqi authorities from torturing prisoners in a variety of gruesome ways, sometimes to death.

    Then there was that gun-sight video – unclassified, but buried in classified material – of a US Apache helicopter opening fire on a crowd on a Baghdad street, gunning down a dozen men, including two Reuters employees, and injuring more, including children. There were also those field reports about how jumpy US soldiers repeatedly shot down civilians at roadside checkpoints; about night raids gone wrong both in Iraq and Afghanistan; and a count of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, a tally whose existence the US military had previously denied possessing.”

    If this is what Pfc Manning has brought to light… I say, give him a medal!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:59pm
  12. I agree that HER sexuality/gender identity had nothing to do with the leak. However, I believe in open governance and reigning in the war machine. So leaks are good. Fuck off.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:59pm
  13. “WikiLeaks not only took great care to redact potentially harmful information (holding back more than 15,000 documents for this very reason) but prior to releasing the documents, sought to engage the White House in its efforts to vet the material. (Source: “Afghan Leak: WikiLeaks’ Assange denies ‘blood on hands’”, BBC News Canada, 7/30/10)

    According to Julian Assange, military procedures for source protection were poor and the leaked material was available to every soldier and contractor in Afghanistan. “We are appalled that the US military was so lackadaisical with its Afghan sources. Just appalled. We are a source protection organization that specializes in protecting sources and have a perfect record from our activities,” Assange said.

    It is clear, then, that if anyone has “blood on their hands,” it is the US government. There is no rhyme or reason for a continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan. ”

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:02pm
  14. I am one of those naive Veterans (Vietnam) who actually believe in fairy tales like “innocent until proven guilty>” And I’m also of the opinion, with the US Government, that nothing Manning allegedly revealed did ANY harm. (U.S. State Department). I am also of the opinion that the more secrecy the more harm to democracy, and hiding “official” offenses is culpable. We LOVE to talk about democracy and spreading it, but we practice entirely counterproductive policies and then seek to cover up our idiocy by stamping it “Top Secret”

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:06pm
  15. War machine? The US military is all volunteer. You want a war machine? How about most of Europe, where most men have to serve once the turn 18. Or Asia. Pretty much most of the world. And you think it’s a good idea to have troop locations and other sensitive info blasted to the entire world? That is insane. That’s how people get killed. Can you imagine that happening in WWII? We would’ve lost, plain and simple.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:11pm
  16. Manning is a HERO!!! DONT DISCRIMINATE!!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:20pm
  17. Dear Brandon Johnson not all veterans are perfect. Dear Ken, without Obama and with MIT Romney there wouldn’t be gay rights in all states, think about that.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:24pm
  18. Fuck you & your sold-out coward crawl, SF! Manning marshals MY pride.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:34pm
  19. I was so happy about the thought that Bradley Manning will be the Grand Marshal and now to hear he will not be is really disappointing. What is the pride parade about anymore but a right-wing capitalist orgy party for gay cis men?

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 2:01pm
  20. I think this guy is stuffed full of more shit than a Xmas turkey and should have his ass kicked! People treating this guy as a hero simply because hes gay makes me wanna puke!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 2:24pm
  21. Nobel Peace Prize and front and center as an American Hero.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 2:48pm
  22. he is a traitor and should be executed for his treacherous acts.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:07pm
  23. you do not commit a series of felonies then turn over this “evidence” to a foreign body to make millions off of it.He is not a hero, he is a idiotic tool used by someone else to get his hands dirty and leave their clean and able to grab the money.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:09pm
  24. then why did he turn this “evidence” over to foreign people who are raking in money over it? And, not turn it over to the press himself?

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:10pm
  25. ends do not justify the means. Committing felonies to show that someone else committed a felony is still illegal….

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:12pm
  26. Does the SF Pride (commitee) screen their employees since they make errors?

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 6:45pm
  27. A whistle-blower about international war crimes (as depicted in the “Collateral Murder” video he leaked) is a patriot, not a traitor.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 9:45am
  28. Until the trial is over manning deserve neither accolades nor condemnation. I refuse to accept him as innocent just because he is gay.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:43am
  29. Every government has had, has now, and will have its dark side. Get use to it. At least we get to live in a relatively free country, not some place like Syria or N. Korea. Defending our freedom is vital. Manning exposed how easy it was to steal government secrets. Doing this is illegal regardless of what was taken or for what purpose he broke the law and should answer for that as should anyone who breaks the law. What frightens me is that he was able to do it, and that if others who hate and want to destroy America, which would eliminate the freedoms we enjoy, are able to do similar acts, the very safety and stability of our country’s existence is at risk. It’s a fine line, double edge sword. We don’t want our government to be doing deceitful things. But pre-America Indians learned long ago that “white man speak with forked tongue”. Now, if we could only get more people to vote, as do I. Spouting off on social media is a freedom we enjoy, and can start the ball of change to roll, but until more people vote we have a government that is elected by a minority of us all. Look at the numbers. If only 40% of eligible voters actually vote, and 51% of them vote for a candidate or some issue that requires a “majority”, then only a tad more than 20% of eligible voters elected a person or passed an issue. And of the entire population, many people who are eligible to vote don’t register. And eligible voters are not ALL of the people. Thus why we have such discord. More people mouthing off, or silent but upset, and they don’t get off their duff to register to vote, or if they are registered to vote, they don’t vote. Thus, the power hungry, money rich people and corporations are able to get their way via cheap shot propaganda slick untrue advertising. We have met the enemy and it is everyone who does not vote.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 6:14am