San Francisco gay pride backtracks on Bradley Manning honor


US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (R) arrives alongside a military official at a US military Magistrate Court facility for an Article 32 hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland on December 18, 2011.


Saul Loeb

On Friday, the San Francisco Pride organization  announced  that Bradley Manning would be honored as the grand marshal of the annual gay pride parade. But by the end of the day, SF Board President Lisa Williams rescinded the honor and blamed someone else for the screw up. 

"That was an error, and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride," SF Pride Board President Lisa Williams  said in a statement. Williams claims that an employee of SF Pride had prematurely announced that Manning had been selected for the distinction.

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Did SF Pride backtrack to avoid creating controversy? Williams says no. Instead, she said in her statement that it all came down to votes: Manning simply didn't have enough votes from the SF Pride board to earn the grand marshal honor, Williams claims. "In point of fact, less than 15 people actually cast votes for Bradley Manning." Yet Williams also accuses Manning of harming the US military.

Manning's supporters aren't buying Williams' statement. "I and many other LGBT Manning supporters are deeply disappointed by this sudden change in position on the part of the committee," Rainey Reitman, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network,  told the Guardian

And the Guardian's  Glenn Greenwald notes  that the parade is funded by many corporate sponsors who are no fans of Manning.