The support group for military LGBT families has denounced San Francisco Pride for naming imprisoned WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning as one of this year’s grand marshals. Via press release:
“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 AMPA. “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.”
In a separate move, the organizer of the 2011 Active Duty Military March in San Diego Pride (the nation’s first-ever pride appearance of uniformed military members) has called for a boycott of San Francisco Pride. Sean Sala emails:
I am appalled, infuriated and sad. San Francisco has spit in the face of LGBT Military by using a traitor to our country as a poster child. They are not using Manning for anything they truly admire, only to boost their attendance and garnish more currency for their parade. Manning makes Gay military, the Armed Forces and cause of equality look like a sham. He deserves no recognition. I am calling all LGBT Military and national LGBT news to announce a boycott for San Francisco Pride. Specifically LGBT Military, Active and Veterans of all Branches.
Sala has launched a petition.
UDPATE: San Diego LGBT Weekly reports that San Francisco Pride has canceled the naming of Bradley Manning as grand marshal, saying that his election by a board of former grand marshals was a “systemic failure that now has become apparent and will be rectified.” From the statement by San Francisco Pride board president Lisa Williams:
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.
(Tipped by JMG reader Kathy)