Yesterday, Andy reported that Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning had been appointed Grand Marshal of this year's San Francisco Pride. That's now changed. Late last night, SF Pride Board President Lisa Williams issued a statement claiming that Manning's confirmation for the honor was never supposed to happen in the first place and occurred due to a mistake by an internal staffer. That person has reportedly been disciplined.
Her statement went even further, explaining why the group will not include Manning in this year's event:
Bradley Manning is facing the military justice system of this country. We all await the decision of that system. However, until that time, even the hint of support for actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform -- and countless others, military and civilian alike -- will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride. It is, and would be, an insult to every one, gay and straight, who has ever served in the military of this country. There are many, gay and straight, military and non-military, who believe Bradley Manning to be innocent. There are many who feel differently. Under the US Constitution, they have a first amendment right to show up, participate and voice their opinions at Pride this year.
Before SF Pride released their statement last night, The American Military Partner Association had issued a strongly-worded response in which they said they were "outraged" and asked the group to reconsider Manning's appointment. Williams' announcement followed soon after.
The comments section of the SF Pride's Facebook page has exploded with criticism of the organization. Some are calling the leaders of the group "cowards" and their statement "wrong."
Read SF Pride's full statement, AFTER THE JUMP.