Viktor Kerney

Was It a Good Idea to Make Bradley Manning SF Pride's Grand Marshall?

Filed By Viktor Kerney | April 28, 2013 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Living, The Movement
Tags: Bradley Manning, OutServe-SLDN, San Francisco Pride, WikiLeaks

Friday was very interesting time in the gay universe. It was announced that Bradley Manning would be one of the grand marshals of San Francisco Pride.

If you are not familiar with Manning, here's a quick lowdown: he leaked 700,000 classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks as a protest against DADT. At this time, he's in custody and is facing court-martial. Thumbnail image for BradleyManning.jpgSo, he wouldn't be able to attend the parade.

The announcement drew a lot of cheers and jeers within the LGBT community. While some were happy for Manning, other were not pleased with the news. LGBT military activist, Sean Sala, immediately called for a boycott of the San Francisco Pride.

Sala stated that: "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."

The American Military Partner Association and OutServe-SLDN also denounced San Francisco Pride, saying that is a shameful act and a direct insult to LGBT servicemembers and vets. Within hours of the announcement, San Francisco Pride board president Lisa Williams removed Manning as a grand marshal.

In her statement, she said that his nomination was a mistake and an act of a lone board member. Lisa also reiterated the earlier statements from the LGBT military organizations.

But I am a curious about what would have happened if Manning was allowed to stay on as a grand marshal. To some, he is a hero. Dan Choi supported Manning during his hearing and LGBT activist Peter Tatchell strongly stood by his side. And to other activists, he is nowhere near a honorable person

I would to hear your opinions about this incident. Was the decision to make Manning a grand marshal an honorable one or a catastrophe waiting to happen?


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