Pride Pulls Plug on May Meeting-Manning Disinvite Decision Stands

SF Pride LogoSF Pride Committee has made it official. They are through debating.  Bradley Manning, the Queer, imprisoned US Soldier behind the Wikileaks whistle blowing case will not be one of the myriad of Honorable Grand Marshalls at the San Francisco 2013 LGBT Pride Parade.

This roller coaster ride regarding Manning’s invite/disinvite and how its affected San Francisco’s LGBT community standing in the eyes of the world at large has been raucous. Scathing editorials from the UK’s Guardian to The Village Voice have our Parade and it’s Committee portrayed in less than flattering light as the story has taken on a life of its own as the Parade’s decision making process on who is-or isn’t-qualified to be a Honorary Grand Marshall has bounced back and forth making headlines along the way.

On Mother’s Day SF Pride Committee released this decision via their Facebook page stating;

San Francisco Pride May Membership Meeting Update:

We are seeking a larger venue for the next SF Pride membership meeting, and so are postponing the May 14th meeting until a suitable location is secured. We want to allow people to have a chance to voice their opinions about the recent controversy, but also have a large event coming up, and do not want to let one issue, as important as it is to some, overshadow the concerns and interests of the hundreds of thousands who attend SF Pride.

SF Pride’s decision concerning the election process of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal being consistent with SF Pride’s long-standing Grand Marshal election policy is firm. Thus, the discussion of that matter is closed for this year.

A meeting in a larger venue after the 2013 Celebration and Parade will allow people from all sides of that issue and others to fully air and hear one another’s viewpoints, without jeopardizing the production of this year’s event and the safety and security of the attendees. We ask everyone in the community to come together in Pride this June, recognizing that we can embrace difference without violence and hate.

If you’re late to all the drama heres a brief synopsis of this years Pride’s public relation nightmare:

Bradley Manning is announced as one of many Hon. Grand Marshall’s of SF’s 2013 LGBT Pride Parade, Pride Committee freaks over supposed rule violations and disinvited him, Committee then issues horrible explanation statement for disinvite, that fumble threw gas on what was already a bonfire, an outraged community protests, followed by an even worse bungled community meeting which was canceled after only 15 people got to participate, worldwide community protests, Pride Committee’s promise of another ‘larger/more open’ meeting to address the situation, to now this current decision: cancel public May 14th scheduled meeting, dig in their heels and just deal with the whole debacle after the parade is over.

“WHEW” That’s the kind of drama one usually finds in a soap opera not amidst one of the most respected and oldest celebrations of LGBT freedom, political struggle and pride.
Manning Pride Contingent 2012

Rumblings throughout the activist community are already hitting a fevered pitch and the parade is still six weeks away. Several groups have expressed outrage over Pride’s final edict and are gearing up for a large vocal and perhaps disruptive contingent in this years Pride Parade.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue there is one thing everyone I’ve spoken with seems with on the subject seems to agree on-this is really a horrendous mess.

I’d have to second that assessment.

See you at the Parade.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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15 Responses

  1. Sorry you won’t see me at the parade. If it is true that the major corporate sponsors are behind the decision to invalidate the decision to have Manning as a GM, then the parade is no longer valid. That is very sad if the SCOTUS rulings go in the favor of ruling DOMA and Prop. 8 unconstitutional.

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    • Waiyde Palmer says:

      I hear and respect your decision. I haven’t decided what my ‘participation’ in the Parade will look like. If SCOTUS rules against I think we’re going to see a very different Parade not only here in SF but around the country then the ones that are currently in the works..

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    • rblack says:

      I agree with both of you.

      I will not be participating in any official Pride event this year, mostly due to the combination of the Pride Committee’s mismanagement and the eye opening Glenn Greenwald article in the UK’s Guardian.

      However like Waiyde, if the SCOTUS rules against us, it’s all hands on deck.

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      • Waiyde Palmer says:

        ..and then I believe we’ll see SF Pride revert to it’s original incarnation-a community of Queers united in defiance, conviction, political determination, and rebellion.

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  2. Glenn Stehle says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Glenn Stehle says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Glenn Stehle says:

        I don{t know what happened there.

        Let’s try that link to the Ethan McCord interview again:

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      • Glenn Stehle says:

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        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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          • Waiyde Palmer says:

            You’re ridiculous and should learn to edit. Pride committee is wrong. I and the blog have said so countless times which is why we covered it before any other local Queer blog/paper did. This is unneeded drama as the choice of Bradley Manning as Hon. Grand Marshall should’ve been self evident to Pride from the start. Queers fighting other Queers over freedom makes my stomach turn almost as someone who makes sweeping statements and judgements about a person they know nothing about.

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          • Mark says:


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          • Glenn Stehle says:

            @ Waiyde Palmer said:

            “You’re ridiculous.”

            “Queers fighting other Queers over freedom makes my stomach turn…”

            So what do we have here?

            Ad hominem? And demanding conformity in order to silence dissent? Those are some of the oldest rhetorical strategies in the book.

            From William O. Douglas’ “Points of Rebellion”:

            “Military strategy has … become dominant in our thinking; and the dominance of the military attitude has had a sad effect at home.”

            “The tense and perilous times in which we live demand an invigorating dialogue. Yet we seem largely incapable of conducting one because of the growing rightist tendencies in the nation that demand conformity.”

            And what about your “logic”? “Pride committee is wrong,” you acknowledge. But instead of demanding it rescind its decision, or at least lauding those fighting a principled battle to get it to rescind its decision, you instead dismiss their efforts “as the kind of drama one usually finds in a soap opera.”

            Go figure.

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  1. May 14, 2013

    [...] 2013 LGBT Pride Parade.” Pride Pulls Plug on May Meeting-Manning Disinvite Decision Stands [Castro Biscuit] [...]

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  2. January 29, 2014

    […] followed closely the fiasco that was the SF Pride Board backpedaling on naming Chelsea (Bradley) Manning Grand Marshal for the […]

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