WikiLeaks PFC Bradley Manning Chosen As Grand Marshall of San Francisco Pride Parade

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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3 Responses

  1. I think that by choosing Bradley Manning as GrandMarshall the choice may be controversial, but it shows that transparency is more important then the secrecy that a lot of people in the military regard needed!
    What is not secret? Even your own stats on NoFlyLists are secret! Even you as owner of the stats can not access the stats, nor be getting information as to why your name is on the NoFlyList! Let alone to be able to counter the info they collected, from whatever perhaps illegal or untrustworthy source!

    I applaud the SFPP, if only for the acknowledgement of the fact of letting people know that at least one guy, Manning, has stood up against the increasing power of military secrecy!

    My opinion!

  2. SF Pride says:

    HOT OFF THE PRESSES. SF Pride admits error. Bradley Manning will NOT be Pride Grand Marshall. Below: Statement from SF Pride Board President.

    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

    • I am sorry, but as long as Manning is not convicted he is to be considered innocent, and that includes putting anyone at harm or in danger, including American soldiers!

      The fact that someone is exposing wrongs does not mean that the person is wrong! On the contrary, such a person is in my opinion to saluted, even when it involves exposing material that is labeled secret! When such material though being secret involves information about and on illegal or even unlawful actions and or activities labeling it secret means to keep it from knowledge!

      Besides, every soldier has the duty to report, even disobey, orders that are against laws, treaties, and agreements, and in my opinion Manning did such by exposing orders and instructions that violated international agreements!

      Just my opinion.

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