Soon we’re going to need a scorecard to keep up. First came word that Bradley Manning was selected as San Francisco Pride’s grand marshal, despite the fact that he won’t be able to attend due to being behind bars while awaiting trial for leaking classified government documents. Then we were told that Manning had never been selected for the gig, that it was merely an error made by an overzealous Pride staffer. Now we’ve been informed of a protest by activists, including Michael Petrelis and Lisa Geduldig, who think that story is just P.R. spin and that pride officials really rescinded the invitation after some objected to whether the out U.S. Army hero/whistleblower/criminal (depending on your opinion) reflected proper values they want in a pride grand marshal.
Petrelis released a statement that read: “Our message to SF Pride is that they should make Manning a Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride March and Celebration because of his brave act of whistleblowing against the military industrial complex. We are fed up with marriage and military concerns sucking the oxygen out of what used to be a queer movement and Pride March and Celebration about social justice for queers.”
Geduldig added, “He’s an antiwar hero, a whistleblower who is gay. He was lip-synching to Lady Gaga while downloading classified documents. It doesn’t get more gay than that.”
The protest is scheduled for April 29 at 5 p.m. in front of San Francisco Pride’s office. Participants are asked to carry “I Am Bradley Manning” signs and to wear Manning masks, which can be downloaded here.
Does Manning reflect what you want in a pride grand marshal? Leave a comment to tell us.