No, Bradley Manning is Not the Next SF Pride Parade Grand Marshal

Sara Morrison
The Atlantic Wire
No, Bradley Manning is Not the Next SF Pride Parade Grand Marshal

Bradley Manning will not be the Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade. His ability to participate in the festivities was never in question (he's in a military prison for the foreseeable future), but for a few hours today, word got around that he had been named the Grand Marshal of the June parade and that Daniel Ellsberg would serve in his place.

RELATED: Five Best Wednesday Columns

This did not go down well with some, who called it an insult to all LBGT members of the armed forces. Now San Francisco Pride Board president Lisa L. Williams has released a statement denying that Manning was ever close to becoming the Grand Marshal:

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.

Williams continued to lay out the complex inner workings of the San Francisco Pride Board:

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.

This news was not well-received, either. For instance:

Regime Gays at @sfpride show solidarity with oppression by snubbing Obama political prisoner and hero Bradley Manning…

— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) April 27, 2013

.@sfpride Get your facts one died bc of #BradleyManning. Lots died in an illegal war that Manning tried to expose.

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) April 27, 2013

@aidspol @sfpride am sickened by sf pride. Never imagined this profound level of cowardice. Shame.

— Rob Bieber Ⓥ(@rob_bieber) April 27, 2013

Uh oh:

'Free Manning' demonstrations are already being planned at the @sfpride parade in response to their denouncement of Bradley. #SFPride

— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) April 27, 2013

So now there's one side that's still furious with SF Pride for naming Manning a Grand Marshal and another that's furious with SF Pride for "backing down" from its nomination in the wake of the anti-Manning outcry and denying that he was ever named the Grand Marshal in the first place. SF Pride just can't win.