FeaturedGay News From Around The Globe

SF Pride Issues ANOTHER BS Statement In The Bradley Manning Debacle, Denies Activists Free Speech

Bradlee Manning Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

The schadenfreude saga of San Francisco Pride and Bradley Manning continued last night with San Francisco Pride issuing yet another statement in which they tried to cover their asses once again this time by coming up with another bullshit reason on why Bradley Manning was unceremoniously tossed from being an honorary Grand Pride Marshall at this years festivities and attempting  to bar  over 125 LGBT activists who came to complain about their decision at the SF Pride board meeting which is supposed to be open to the public last night

In a press release issued late Tuesday S.F. Pride changed their tune and now states that the reason they denied Manning as honorary Grand Pride Marshall is because he’s not a “local” despite SF Pride Board President Lisa Williams previous statement that the choice of Manning was ” an insult to every one, gay and straight, who has ever served in the military of this country”

“For the past four decades, SF Pride has stood firmly to advance its mission to educate the world about LGBT issues, commemorate LGBT heritage, celebrate LGBT culture, and liberate LGBT people.  It remains a considerable honor and utmost commitment to engage the community to recognize those persons who have positively advanced the LGBT liberation movement, representing the full spectrum of contributions to advance full equality for all.
Presenting various categories and criteria for annual parade grand marshal nominees offers SF Pride and the community a broad range of opportunities to recognize and honor a diverse range of individuals and organizations for their achievements on behalf of LGBT people. Grand Marshal Categories include Celebrity, Lifetime Achievement, Organizational, Community, Special Guests, and Pink Brick.
The SF Pride Board recognizes and regrets the recent error in the announcement of Mr. Bradley Manning as the Electoral College’s Community Grand Marshal.  The Electoral College was not the appropriate forum for his nomination.  The longstanding Grand Marshal Policy provides that one community grand marshal shall be elected by an electoral college composed of Community Grand and Honorary Marshals elected or appointed since 1999.  Grand Marshal/Pink Brick Policy, Sections 3.3 and 5.2.3.  Under that longstanding policy, the community grand marshal upon whom the Electoral College votes is defined as “a local hero (individual) not being a celebrity.”  Grand Marshal/Pink Brick Policy, Section 5.2.3.
Because Mr. Manning is not local, by definition under the Grand Marshal policy, he may not be nominated or elected by the Electoral College as its community grand marshal.  The SF Pride Board determined that because the nomination and election had been conducted in the incorrect forum, the election could not be upheld as valid.  Mr. Manning might rightfully qualify as a nominee for Celebrity Grand Marshal or another community grand marshal spot, but not as the Electoral College’s nominee, as a matter of longstanding, written policy.
The integrity of the elections process and procedures are important to SF Pride and the community.  Those that nominated Mr. Manning surely knew that he is not a local, Bay Area community member, and that he should not have been voted on by the Electoral College.  His nomination is more appropriately debated and voted on by the public than by a small group, and it could be next year when nominations open.
Taking sides in the controversy concerning Mr. Manning’s conduct is not appropriate for the organization and falls outside its core mission.  We apologize to Mr. Manning, knowing that he did not ask to be at the center of a community firestorm, and for any harsh words that may have been said about him.  In the end, SF Pride recognizes that becoming embroiled in the controversy concerning the merit of Mr. Manning’s conduct was an honest mistake.  However, because the Grand Marshal/Pink Brick policy precludes Mr. Manning from being nominated for, or elected as a community grand marshal by the Electoral College, SF Pride stands by his disqualification on those unequivocal policy grounds.
Moving forward, in the spirit of fairness and to respectfully honor the contributions of qualified nominees, the SF Pride Board is re-opening the Electoral College’s voting process so that it may select a Community Grand Marshal from the remaining two, duly qualified nominees for the 2013 Community Grand Marshal: Bebe Sweetbriar and Associate Justice Jim Humes. Members of the Electoral College will have until May 16 to re-cast their vote. 
Shortly before this statement was released, SF Pride received a complaint filed against it at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission concerning Mr. Manning.  This statement is not a response to that complaint, and SF Pride will be responding to that complaint in the proper forum, not in the press and/or at board meetings.”
This is the new excuse that it took SF Pride two weeks to come up with.
To make matters even worse if that possible at last nights SF Pride Board Meeting which is supposed to be open to the public the SF Pride Committee attempted to shut out over 125 LGBT activists that came to protest their decision.
You can read a first hand account of last nights SF Pride meeting and its very undemocratic and conduct and treatment of LGBT activists over at San Francisco activist Mike Petrelis’ site The Petrelis Files

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist 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 Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

Related Articles

4 thoughts on “SF Pride Issues ANOTHER BS Statement In The Bradley Manning Debacle, Denies Activists Free Speech”

  1. How did the Pride SF board, a small group of people who are so patently incompetent and immoral, get into leadership positions?

    Hannah Arendt, in “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” discusses the phenomenon. Blame for the moral depravity of folks like Currie and Williams should not be laid solely at their own feet, she asserts, but also at the feet of structural causes.

    Using Arendt’s classifications, we could dub people like Currie and Williams variously “excepton queers,” “court queers,” or “parvenu queers.” “As long as defamed peoples and classes exist,” Arendt writes, “parvenu- and pariah- qualities will be produced anew by each generation with incomparable monotony, in Jewish society and everywhere else.”

    The denunciation of Marx by rich Jews, Arendt continues, “cannot be properly understood except in the light of this conflict between rich Jews and Jewish intellectuals.” Jews felt “the parvenu’s bad conscience at having betrayed his people and exchanged equal rights for personal privileges.”

    “The ‘exception Jews’ of wealth felt like exceptions from the common destiny of the Jewish people and were recognized by the governments as exceptionally useful,” Arendt adds.

  2. “not a local”…….. yeah sure……..

    Seriously though, were is it written in the statue that a honorary Grand Pride Marshall must be a “local”?

    And then, what or who is a ‘local” of San Francisco? What is the definition of being a “local” San Franciscan?

    Does that exclude individuals or groups from greater San Francisco? Or does it include individuals or groups from Greater San Francisco?

    If a honorary Grand Pride Marshall can only be a “local” for instance the President of the United States could never be a honorary Grand Pride Marshall, nor anyone from for instance New Your City who has done great work for the LGBT Community on a national level, let alone someone from outside the USA who had done great work for the whole global LGBT Community!

    And then to realize that the title honorary means in fact to HONOR the individual, for his or her achievements for the cause fighting for!

    Not for the glorification of individuals in or on a Board!

    This statement shows the inability of the Board of SFP to function, to be what they claim to be… organizers of the San Francisco Gay Pride!

    In my, probably not so humble opinion, the whole Board must step down, and a new Board must be elected, of capable men and women, who are able to see the greatness of persons and groups who are fighting for Inclusion, Equality, and who do not focus on matters that dishonor and disgrace the people!

    But then…… my opinion only!

  3. SF Pride should NEVER have done this AT ALL. This is the slippery slope when one becomes a one issue contingent. The big picture is lost on these folks.


What do you think?