(Updated below with a response from Manning supporters, who held a press conference yesterday outside Pride HQ and drew attention to the Pride board's own violations of its rules.)
At a feisty community meeting last week, the SF Pride board had set June 7 as a deadline for reconsidering its controversial decision to strip Bradley Manning of his grand marshalship. Late in the day today, Pride issued a statement saying that the community proposals to reinstate Manning had failed to garner consensus majority within the board.
The "Wikileaks court-martial" of Bradley Manning began yesterday -- as predicted, it opened "with dueling portrayals of a traitor who endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers [the government's characterization] and of a principled protester motivated by a desire to help society who carefully selected which documents to release [Manning's defense]," writes Charlie Savage in the New York Times.
As that was happening, the SF Trans March stated on its Facebook page, "The San Francisco Trans March will be honoring Bradley Manning on June 28th at the opening of the 2013 PRIDE weekend!!" Manning has identified as transgender; the Trans March organizers stated that they are "retaining Manning's male name and pronoun at the request of his people." (If Manning's attorneys do indeed introduce gender dysphoria as a defense strategy, as they have stated, it will certainly add another layer to this complex story.)
OPINION And so Pride has come to this: what began as a ragtag, radical potluck of perverts, fairies, and criminals (which is what we were in the early 1970s), celebrating the grassroots uprising that birthed the gay rights movement, is now a sleek, corporate-sponsored, multimillion dollar mega-event that refuses to engage with its own community.Read more »