Large Crowd expected to attend SF Pride Board meeting
Editor Post, May 06, 2013.
The San Francisco Pride Committee’s action to recently rescind naming Bradley Manning as a Grand Marshal of this year’s parade has been met with protest by local activists and gay veterans. Manning is the US Army soldier who was arrested in 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website Wikileak.
The San Francisco Pride Board of Directors’ monthly meeting will take place this Tuesday, May 7th at 7pm at their office off upper Market Street. The meeting is open to the public. It is not known if they will bring up and vote on the issue of whether or not to reinstate openly gay whistleblower, Manning, as a Grand Marshal, but supporters of Manning are being encouraged to show up and make a public comment. Those interested should arrive early. The Board has the power to reverse the decision to rescind Manning as a Grand Marshal.
In an April 26th statement, Pride Board President, Lisa Williams said, “Even the hint of support for actions which placed in harm’s 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.” Williams’ entire statement: www.tinyurl.com/PrideBdManning
Williams has not made any public comment since the nomination was rescinded. She met briefly with some veterans last Friday but would neither confirm nor deny to them that the Pride Board would vote on the Manning issue this Tuesday; she did, however, allude to the fact that she would share with the Board the next time they met, the group’s concerns.
Manning, who remains in detention, would not be able to actually attend the parade, but former military strategist, Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked secret documents known as the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, planned on going in his place.
Last Monday, 200 activists peacefully protested against this decision outside Pride’s office; speakers included Ellsberg; gay veteran, John Caldera, who as Commander of the Bob Basker Post 315 of the American Legion (the only post within the American Legion named after an openly gay WWII Combat Veteran) has called for Williams to resign; and past Board President, Joey Cain, who nominated Manning.
UPDATED: May 07,2013.
The SF Pride Board of Directors put out a statement late Tuesday asserting that Manning was never eligible to be nominated, but also offered an apology to the army private. The statement said longstanding policy requires that the nominee of the electoral college be local.
“In the end, SF Pride recognizes that becoming embroiled in the controversy concerning the merit of Mr. Manning’s conduct was an honest mistake,” the statement read. “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.”
The statement added that Manning’s nomination would more appropriately be considered by a vote open to the public, and he could quality as a celebrity grand marshal next year.
The electoral college’s voting process will be re-opened so former grand marshals can choose between Associate Justice Jim Humes or drag queen BeBe Sweetbriar.
UPDATED: Pride hit with discrimination complaint in Manning controversy
Supporters of Bradley Manning filed a discrimination complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission against SF Pride Tuesday following the parade organizers’ decision to revoke the grand marshal status of the army private accused of leaking classified military documents.
Manning, who is awaiting court martial, was selected last month as one of several grand marshals by a group of former grand marshals known as SF Pride’s electoral college. But SF Pride Board president Lisa Williams put out a statement one day later saying his nomination was “a mistake and should never have been allowed to happen.”
The complaint alleges the SF Pride officials violated their own selection process and non-discrimination policy, as well as the city’s equal opportunity laws.
“The Pride Board stomped on the moral convictions of the grand marshals who voted for Manning,” said attorney David Waggoner in a statement. “SF Pride a – recipient of City funding – is not allowed to discriminate against people just because they don’t like their moral support for Bradley.”
The complaint also claims that Williams told former board President Joey Cain that SF Pride would “do the right thing” and make Manning a grand marshal before issuing her statement repudiating the vote.
Lt. Dan Choi, the face of the movement to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, lended his name to the complaint filed against the Pride board. READ MORE
UPDATED 5/10/2013 HERE IS KTVU REPORT ON THE MEETING
UPDATED: From Board meeting 8.30 PM San Francisco – – Has meeting been cancelled or are people not being allowed in – Bedlam at meeting on Bradley Manning issue. Tweets from outside Board meeting:-
So @sfpride kicked out @Smedley_Butler & @eBARnews photographer not letting more people in #sfpride #lgbt #bradleymanning
FROM INSIDE THE MEETING – see Petrelis report