SAN FRANCISCO — Organizers of San Francisco’s annual gay pride celebration have confirmed that the U.S. soldier who has acknowledged providing classified documents to WikiLeaks will not be honored during this month’s celebration.
A group of former grand marshals had chosen Army Private Bradley Manning as a grand marshal for the June 30 San Francisco Pride parade. But gay and lesbian veterans and service members objected, prompting directors of the group that sponsors the event to rescind the honor amid protests from activists who consider Manning a hero.
During a community forum on the controversy, Manning’s supporters suggested that if SF Pride was unwilling to reinstate him as a grand marshal, it could give him another form of recognition or allow a contingent of his supporters to kick off the parade.
But the Pride board members released a statement late Friday saying they considered those options but could not agree on them.
“The SF Pride Board of Directors recognizes the divergent opinions regarding the matter of Pfc. Manning, but none of the three main options we received from the community forum on May 31 garnered a consensus majority,” the statement read.
Manning was never expected to be able to attend the parade. His court-martial is underway in Maryland.
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 stand in for him.
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