No decision could be reached on whether former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning would be honored at San Francisco Pride this year, according to a statement by SF Pride organizers issued this evening.
The statement did not specify whether there would be any future discussion of Manning’s possible inclusion in the annual festival and parade, now in its 43rd year.
Manning, who is openly gay, was initially announced as one of the grand marshals to be honored at the parade held on June 30, but at the end of April, SF Pride board president Lisa Williams announced that he would not be honored in the festivities.
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The decision caused an uproar among supporters of Manning. After several protests, last week the board agreed to consider reinstating him and decided to announce today whether any changes will occur regarding the plans for the parade, Manning supporter Lisa Geduldig said.
Geduldig said the board agreed to decide by this afternoon whether to reinstate Manning, give him a different honor, or drop their consideration.
“The SF Pride Board of Directors recognizes the divergent opinions regarding the matter of Pfc. Manning, but none of the three main options we received from the community forum on May 31 garnered a consensus majority,” the statement issued this evening said.
Previously, board president Williams had said Manning would not be honored while his case was still in court.
Geduldig said, “Regardless of what happens, we’ve declared Bradley Manning the people’s grand marshal.”
Manning would have been honored at the parade in absentia because he remains in military custody after he was accused of leaking classified information to the online group WikiLeaks.
Manning has been charged with aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy, theft of public property or records, transmitting defense information, fraud and violating Army regulations.
He appeared in a Maryland martial court this week and his trial will continue next week.
The pro-Manning group is holding a teach-in and discussion on Saturday at 4 p.m. at 2278 Market St. to raise issues, criticism, support and questions about Manning, his actions and the impact on the LGBT community.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News