Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
California

Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning named SF Pride parade grand marshal

Update: SF Pride cancels; says 'nomination was a mistake'
Friday, April 26, 2013

Update: The San Francisco Pride committee announced on Facebook at 7 p.m. PDT that Manning’s “nomination was a mistake and should never have been allowed to happen,” and that he will not be the event’s grand marshal.

See update at end of article.


SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Army private charged in a massive leak of U.S. secrets to the WikiLeaks website has been named as a grand marshal of San Francisco’s annual gay rights parade, a choice that was immediately condemned by several groups representing gay and lesbian service members.

Rainey Reitman, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said Friday that her group was notified this week that a committee of former San Francisco Pride grand marshals had voted to select the imprisoned intelligence specialist for the distinction that each year recognizes about a dozen celebrities, politicians and community organizations for their contributions to the LGBT communities.

Bradley Manning

Manning is openly gay, and his 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.

“As a longstanding Manning supporter, I’m thrilled to see our community publicly embrace his courage in disclosing classified truths about the war in Iraq and other facts, which empower the American public to promote smarter future policy,” Reitman said.

Other activists were less enthusiastic, saying that the 25-year-old Manning 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,” Stephen Peters, president of American Military Partners Association, a group that advocates for same-sex military families.

“The LGBT military community is outraged by this decision and we genuinely hope that San Francisco Pride will reconsider their appointment of Bradley Manning as a grand marshal for this year’s celebration. No community of such a strong and resilient people should be represented by the treacherous acts that define Bradley Manning.”

The selection first was reported Thursday by the Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco’s gay newspaper.

Officials from San Francisco Pride, the organization that puts on the event, did not return telephone calls and an e-mail seeking comment on Friday. A contingent of Manning’s supporters has marched in past gay pride parades held in many U.S. cities.

While the event’s grand marshals are typically celebrated as they wave from convertibles through downtown San Francisco, naming Manning as one is a symbolic gesture. In custody at a military prison in Kansas while he awaits court martial, he will not be able to attend the June 30 parade.

Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked to the news media the classified information about the Vietnam War that became known as the Pentagon Papers, has agreed to participate in the San Francisco parade on Manning’s behalf, Reitman said.


Update: 7 p.m. PDT:

The San Francisco Pride committee posted this statement to Facebook, attributed to Lisa L. Williams, San Francisco Pride Board President:

Bradley Manning will not be a grand marshal in this year’s San Francisco Pride celebration. His nomination was a mistake and should never have been allowed to happen. A staff person at SF Pride, acting under his own initiative, prematurely contacted Bradley Manning based on internal conversations within the SF Pride organization. That was an error and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride.

[...]

The Board of Directors for SF Pride never voted to support this nomination. Bradley Manning will have his day in court, but will not serve as an official participant in the SF Pride Parade.

© 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

73 more reader comments:

  1. what a fucking disgust.. he is a traitor, committed treason.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:45pm
  2. That’s bullshit. He shouldn’t have that kind of right. What he did was horrible and dangerous.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:45pm
  3. She’s a hero.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:48pm
  4. You people are delusional. He in my eye is a hero. Any whistleblower is a hero. What we did to innocent people is the disgusting thing. Him bringing it to light is not as bad as the actual killing of innocent.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:48pm
  5. What he did was expose murder. The only danger was for murderers.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:49pm
  6. no it isnt check the sf pride page

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:49pm
  7. of course san francisco would do that. what a dick he should be jailed.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:49pm
  8. Breaking News – He will NOT be grand marshal. Visit the SF Pride website. That’s the trouble with the speed of social network. We catch ourselves coming and going.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:50pm
  9. Do I agree with everything he has said and done, no.. but how often does that actually happen?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:50pm
  10. The Parade people quickly changed their minds, announcing today, the same day as the original announcement, that Manning will NOT be a parade Grand Marshall.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:50pm
  11. THE ENDS NEVER JUSTIFY THE MEANS, He is not a whistle blower. He is a criminal – he put thousands of Service People at risk. He is a criminal.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:50pm
  12. He is a hero, and did a very brave and honorable thing.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:50pm
  13. He betrayed his country by disclosing secrets. He signed a contract when he went in, he should have stayed quiet. I think they could have chosen someone better for this, how disappointing that they are honoring him

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:50pm
  14. Bad taste. I suggest that as he comes down the parade route, EVERYONE should turn their backs on him.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:51pm
  15. Thank goodness they changed their minds

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:51pm
  16. it was not dangerous no ones life was put in jepordy no one got threatened all that happned was the government got embarassed they only claim it was dangerous so they dont have to take any blame

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:53pm
  17. I don’t know how I feel about this. As a gay man, I feel ashamed. Then again, I think about all the other crazy ideas that got put on and just have to laugh. For instance, they booked Elton John in Milwaukee years ago for the world’s biggest Harley Davidson party on the lakefront in my hometown Milwaukee. Fail. The world is a crazy place. Sorry my friends and sisters out there, I’m just not feeling this nomination.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:53pm
  18. For the gay community to support this bastard just because he is gay is NO different from republicans supporting the tea party candidates just because they are republican. This guy is an ass!

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:53pm
  19. what if he felt it was real treason to keep said secrets

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:53pm
  20. Sad day for everyone when a Gay Rights parade becomes a soap box for a betrayer of his oath of service to the Constitution of the United States and to his fellow citizens.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:54pm
  21. He is not going to be the Grand Marshall, folks. The Board President just released a statement on the matter.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:54pm
  22. hes a hero no ones lives were threatened at all as a result open your eyes the government hates being embarassed and thats what he did the man is a hero for exposing lies

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:55pm
  23. SF Pride Statement about Bradley Manning

    26 April 2013: Bradley Manning will not be a grand marshal in this year’s San Francisco Pride celebration. His nomination was a mistake and should never have been allowed to happen. A staff person at SF Pride, acting under his own initiative, prematurely contacted Bradley Manning based on internal conversations within the SF Pride organization. That was an error and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride.

    Bradley Manning is facing the military justice system of this country. We all await the decision of that system. However, until that time, even the hint of support for actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform — and countless others, military and civilian alike — will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride. It is, and would be, an insult to every one, gay and straight, who has ever served in the military of this country. There are many, gay and straight, military and non-military, who believe Bradley Manning to be innocent. There are many who feel differently. Under the US Constitution, they have a first amendment right to show up, participate and voice their opinions at Pride this year.

    Specifically, what these events have revealed is a system whereby a less-than-handful of people may decide who represents the LGBT community’s highest aspirations as grand marshals for SF Pride. This is a systemic failure that now has become apparent and will be rectified. In point of fact, less than 15 people actually cast votes for Bradley Manning. These 15 people are part of what is called the SF Pride Electoral College, comprised of former SF Pride Grand Marshals. However, as an organization with a responsibility to serve the broader community, SF Pride repudiates this vote. The Board of Directors for SF Pride never voted to support this nomination. Bradley Manning will have his day in court, but will not serve as an official participant in the SF Pride Parade.

    — Lisa L. Williams, SF Pride Board President

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:56pm
  24. Bradley manning has been tortured more then the boston bomber(s). They are terrorists. Bradley is not.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:56pm
  25. interesting, nothing on the sfpride website.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:56pm
  26. He didn’t provide tactical information to any enemies. He released publicly (meaning released to EVERYONE) evidence of US soldiers committing war crimes and their superiors covering it up.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:59pm
  27. Exactly, all the info he leaked did was to make the sources look like two-faced liars, hypocrites and buffoons.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:00pm
  28. Treason against whom? Halliburton? Blackwater? Clearly not AMERICA, where people believe in freedom.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:00pm
  29. The people calling him a traitor should perhaps check the facts on exactly what documents he released, as the Pentagon itself admitted after it’s investigation that none of what was released was a threat to operational security. He is a whistle blower not a traitor and he should be commended and not condemned.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:01pm
  30. @Kitaro Karu, you’re forgetting that WikiLeaks has tons of other information that we haven’t seen yet. He leaked *tons* of military intelligence; therefore he’s a traitor, a war criminal, and deserves (at least) life in prison.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:01pm
  31. American servicemen, and America at large… get your facts straight melissa. the ends do not justify the means. the US has executed people for similar crimes.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:01pm
  32. Why do you all support US soldiers committing war crimes? Do you want us to be Nazis?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:03pm
  33. He is a hero. What is wrong with you? What kind of American would support what the Government is doing to him? Charging him with the Espionage act for exposing war crimes? I guess they really didn’t mean, “If you see something, say something.”

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:04pm
  34. he broke the law end of story. and if you dont like america then get on a plane and leave easy as that. i dont condone everything my country does but I will be dammed if im going to support someone who broke the law and thats what he did. dont like it oh well. its my opinion and its my right to have it this is america after all

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:07pm
  35. It’s about time he get some recognition as a gay activist. The groups condemning him for “endangering service members” have no problem with service members being endangered by being sent into battle for corporate colonialism in the first place, what business do they have calling out someone trying to make it clear how fucked up our foreign policy is and slow down that reckless endangerment on the part of the US government? He ought to be able to keep this position.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:08pm
  36. brandon, you’re a moron. transparency isn’t a problem to the innocent.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:10pm
  37. Spoken like a good authoritarian Kevin. Government is always right huh? Just use your brain for a moment. Most of the info Manning leaked was unclassified or “confidential”, the lowest classification level. Some was “secret”, and nothing “top secret”. A lowly intelligence analyst like him wouldn’t have access to top secret information, therefore he couldn’t have leaked any. Your assertion that Manning was not just a traitor but a “war criminal” is so over the top, it demonstrates that you’re totally clueless. Do you even know what war crimes are? They are things like torturing people, or murdering innocent civilians- precisely the acts that Manning blew the whistle on.

    Now go on and keep watching Foxnews where apparently you get your information.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:10pm
  38. Who are they John? Can you name them please?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:11pm
  39. sorry, cannot name 300+ million americans..

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:12pm
  40. He served the constitution in an exemplary fashion, by blowing the whistle on criminal behavior.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:12pm
  41. Yeah, just think if they had honored a genuine American hero who risked everything, even his life, to reveal the truth about war crimes committed in our name.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:14pm
  42. He is not a hero..and there was nothing hororable about anything he did….this is coming from a lesbian in military intelligence.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:15pm
  43. bradely deserves death penalty

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:15pm
  44. Do you feel the same way about the people he blew the whistle on, who broke not just the law but the constitution by torturing and murdering innocent people and who are enjoying complete impunity today?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:17pm
  45. the people who use bombs on my country should be either jailed in a tiny cell for life or given the death sentence . and i simply expressed my opinion on a post here it wasnt an invitation for anyone and their conspiracy theories to start shit. so do yourself a favor and not read my comments if you dont like them. its my opinion end of story.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:18pm
  46. I like final fantasy VII. That’s all I got.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:19pm
  47. Exposing the world to the truth of corporations and institutions? That’s horrible? Really? What those corporations and institutions do is horrible. DERP.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:20pm
  48. The facts he exposed are irrelevant. The fact that he broke his oath is the issue. Yes, the government has problems, it needs occasional whistle blowing, but the military is not the enemy of the gay rights movement. Attack the churches and the conservatives if you must, but calling this arrogant, careless, pompous child a “hero” just reeks of ignorance. Military actions are not black and white, so to pretend you (any of you who are not actually in the military) support what he did because of supposed “war crimes” just proves the ignorance. This little bitch does not represent me, my partner, or any of our gay friends. We support our military.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:25pm
  49. The authoritarian mindset is alive and well, as too many posts in this thread prove. Here’s a genuine hero who risked his liberty and very life to expose criminals in high places, and endangered no one, and practically every second commenter is a brainwashed sheep baa-ing for his head. I think the population of North Korea has a firmer grip on reality.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:27pm
  50. This is an absolute disgrace! This little bastard committed High Treason against the United States and not only is he free from any real form of punishment, but, oh gee wiz, he’s going to be Grand Marshal for the Pride Parade, wooooow…..stupid Gay Rights Movement, at times this movement shows a side to it that I abhor!

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:36pm
  51. Also, we are giving the Conservatives by permitting this traitor to be grand marshal a reason to hate us and condemn us as enemies of this country!!!! THINK PEOPLE!!!

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:36pm
  52. It’s a depressing day when exposing government crime becomes treason.

    I suppose Daniel Ellsberg was also nothing but a worthless traitor as well?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:41pm
  53. Clearly, the truth does not set everyone free. Just ask Bradley Manning—a true American hero.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:42pm
  54. “I will be dammed if im going to support someone who broke the law and thats what he did”

    This is a classic case of the “My country is always right, even when it’s wrong!” mentality. If revealing information about government corruption and war crimes is illegal, and nobody breaks the law, how will it ever be found out while there’s still a chance for justice?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:45pm
  55. get over it its my opinion. I said what I had to say thats it. im not going to engage in ridiculous back and forth with anti government nuts.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:47pm
  56. Free from “real” punishment?

    He got 11 months of solitary confinement. It’s a wonder that his mind wasn’t completely shattered (solitary confinement is one of the worst forms of “cruel and unusual punishment), and he was also very likely tortured as well (though we can’t prove that, as the investigators weren’t permitted to access related information; I wonder why that is?).

    He exposed government brutality and war crimes. Like Daniel Ellsberg before him, he’s an American hero. It says a lot about modern America that we blindly trust the government enough to condemn those who expose evil.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:50pm
  57. “We support our military (without ever critically questioning it).”

    Even when it slaughters the innocent! Yeah, my country is right all the time! Even when it does exactly the same things our enemies do!

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:53pm
  58. Strange country where exposing evil done by the government makes one a “traitor”.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:54pm
  59. Umm no what a humiliating choice

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:55pm
  60. It’s a bizarre traitor who actively seeks out and exposes evil where he sees it.

    But then, I suppose that anyone who signs a contract should ignore any evil being done, regardless of its magnitude?

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:55pm
  61. Christopher bullivant- putting words in my mouth and very selectively quoting a post is not how you prove a point. If you can even imply that I don’t ever question the military, you clearly don’t understand (or chose not to understand) my comment. I could say that you’re the one drinking the Kook-Aid since you clearly can’t consider any opinion that doesn’t match yours completely. Quit being a bully and making assumptions about people and putting words in their mouths. It’s ugly and you’ve lost all credibility because of it.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:58pm
  62. Bradley Manning is the Daniel Ellsberg of the 21st century. He’s a goddamn hero, and by exposing the evils being committed by the government in Iraq, he served the people of this country far better than he would have by simply looking away, and ignoring it.

    Whistleblowers are the ones of true moral conviction. It’s a disturbing sign that so many believe the government has a right to lie to the people being governed.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:58pm
  63. Please, that’s nothing when it comes to Military Law. He committed High Treason, servicemen, our servicemen were killed because of information that was leaked! I’m a liberal, I’m a Democrat, but he broke the law, he betrayed his country, he doesn’t deserve to be free, if anything he should be in Leavenworth Military Prison the rest of his natural life! Expose evil, LOL, always taking the side of those who bomb us, and murder our people. Says a lot about modern American, let me tell you, if this were 60 years ago he would have been hanged. He’s no hero, a disgrace.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:06pm
  64. Set this Hero Free

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:09pm
  65. For most of us it not what he did….it is the way he did it. He took the same oath I took and he had other options he could have used..but he decided not to use them..that is his fault and now he had to deal with the fall out….at any point he could have gone and said he no longer agrees with what he has seen and no longs wants to be aparty to it….all of us in the intelligence field knows that.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:21pm
  66. Bradley Manning is a national hero. Someday perhaps more Americans will realize that, but it may well be too late for Manning himself. Very few people have the courage to be whistleblowers, and most of us would have been broken by the torture he’s been put through.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:22pm
  67. As a soldier he had a job to do. He betrayed his country and should pay the price. What were they thinking… traitor

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:03pm
  68. This little prick is a traitor and should be shot. He is an embarrassment to LGBT people. There was a time when LGBT people were denied security clearances simply because of their sexual orientation. This guys actions make some of our worst detractors predictions true.

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:17pm
  69. you do not commit treason or felonies to expose someone else supposedly commiting a crime..

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:49pm
  70. Brandon, you are wrong. He might have threatened YOUR ass, but saved millions of civilian lives.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 5:07am
  71. WTF?

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 5:42am
  72. He should have been grand marshal. people are stupid.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:15am
  73. He is not the Grand Marshall

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:40am