It’s unlikely you’ll see the grand marshal of this year’s San Francisco Pride on the parade route as he’s behind bars. In what’s obviously a show of solidarity for a U.S. Army hero/whistleblower, Bradley Manning has been named the 2013 grand marshal for San Francisco Pride.
The 25-year-old Manning has been accused of handing over 750,000 classified government documents to WikiLeaks as a protest against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and American foreign policy. Since he’s been in jail for the past three years awaiting trial, according to the Bradley Manning Support Network, “Pentagon Papers’ whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg will attend in his stead, and hundreds are expected to march in support of PFC Manning in the parade.”
At least one gay group is already outraged by the choice. The American Military Partner Association, which calls itself the nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military families, released a statement today, saying:
“Manning’s blatant disregard for the safety of our service members and the security of our nation should not be praised,” said Stephen Peters, president of AMPA. “The LGBT military community is outraged by this decision and we genuinely hope that San Francisco Pride will reconsider their appointment of Bradley Manning as a grand marshal for this year’s celebration. No community of such a strong and resilient people should be represented by the treacherous acts that define Bradley Manning.”
Do you think Manning is an appropriate choice?