- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

Organizers of San Francisco’s pride weekend festivities have voted to ban the National Guard from setting up a booth, while leaving the door wide open for Chelsea Manning as honorary grand marshal.

The board of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee rejected a request from the National Guard to set up an informational booth at Civic Center Plaza during Pride Weekend, the local CBS affiliate reported.

Pride Executive Director George Ridgely said the military’s current ban on transgender service members serving openly played a part in the board’s decision.

The National Guard had a booth at Pride Weekend for the first time last year — staffed by gay soldiers — to celebrate the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, CBS reported.

“We find this to be really particularly disturbing because only LGBT people in the city of San Francisco are being affected by this,” Fred Schein, president of the Log Cabin Republicans’ San Francisco chapter, told the station. “LGBT people around the state have full access and are welcoming these recruiters … but San Francisco is being denied that option.”

Manning, the Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning, is invited again this year to be honorary grand marshal in the parade.

Manning was convicted last year and sentenced to 35 years confinement for leaking classified U.S. military documents.

Pride Board President Gary Virginia said in a letter that the board was willing to review its decision against the National Guard after this year’s event, CBS reported.

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