“As a trans woman, I appreciate the Pride movement’s significant role in bringing together diverse communities and elevating the public profile of the fight for queer rights, I have always enjoyed attending Pride celebrations given the opportunity, and I’m deeply honored to receive this title.” – Chelsea Manning, writing from federal prison in reaction to being named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride.
More from the Advocate:
Organizers of the San Francisco Pride parade that last year scuttled plans for Chelsea Manning to be grand marshal are trying to repair a rift the controversy created. Manning is named as an “honorary grand marshal” on a list published by organizers this weekend via the official pride website. And SF Pride’s new board president, Gary Virginia, said in a statement that Manning’s nomination in 2013 was “mishandled.” “Even with this controversy, thousands of Manning supporters in the 2013 Pride Parade represented the largest non-corporate, walking contingent in the parade,” Virginia noted. “I want to publicly apologize to Chelsea Manning and her supporters on behalf of SF Pride, and we look forward to a proper honor this year.”
Manning’s selection as SF Pride 2013 grand marshal was met with great controversy. One LGBT military group denounced the selection and another called for a boycott of SF Pride, who then reversed their decision.
RELATED: Manning is serving a 35 year espionage sentence for leaking classified information. Yesterday her lawyer discussed the appeal now in progress.
“The Espionage Act was meant to punish spies and saboteurs….It was never meant for whistleblowers,” attorney Nancy Hollander said Sunday night in a Skype call to a gathering of Manning supporters in Washington. “This is a draconian act…It must be stopped if we’re to have any freedom of speech—if the First Amendment is to exist at all.” Manning (formerly known as Bradley Manning) was convicted at a court martial last year of leaking hundreds of thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. A military judge sentenced Manning to 35 years in prison—far and away the longest sentence ever given in a leak case. The sentence is not yet final because it awaits action by Manning’s commander, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan. He can reduce or eliminate Manning’s sentence or overturn the conviction.