Peter Tatchell: ‘Pride ban on Bradley Manning is anti-democratic’

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Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has criticised the organisers of San Francisco Pride for allegedly revoking the nomination of Private Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal for this year’s event.

Manning is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of classified war logs and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, but his supporters say he’s a human rights defender and that his actions helped expose alleged war crimes by the US Military in Iraq.

Manning had previously claimed that he was bullied for being gay during his time in the US Army.

In May 2011, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell described Manning as a “gay hero” and a “human rights defender”.

“Pride leaders are wrong on facts and ethics. Bradley revealed US war crimes and cover ups. He caused no harm to US military personnel or civilians. He was nominated as Grand Marshal according to the rules of San Francisco Pride. The decision to ban Bradley is political vetting, which has no place in the LGBT movement. He should be reinstated as Grand Marshal,” Peter Tatchell said in a statement.

San Francisco Pride said last week the nomination of Manning to lead the parade of the June event had been an error and blamed a rogue staff member.

It is unlikely Manning would have been able to fulfil the role of Grand Marshal as he remains in custody.

In February, Manning pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges against him but denied the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price in March for having “fuelled democratic uprisings around the world”.