Gay Rights

2011-06-28 Most in the American LGBT Community Do Not Know of Bradley Manning

(update below)

Photo by ChicagoGeek

In San Francisco, New York and Chicago, support contingents for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower, participated in Sunday’s gay pride parades. Those who marched in contingents aimed to make the LGBT community more aware of Bradley Manning.

Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network and Bradley Manning Support Network Advisory Board member, says he and others in the LGBT community organized a contingent because Manning is a gay man and “we think it is important to stand up for those in our own community who are being victimized.”

The Bradley Manning Support Network finds Manning is “being increasingly hailed by LGBT activists as a hero.” Lieutenant Daniel Choi, an active and well-known gay rights advocate who helped contribute to the movement that ultimately results in the repeal of DADT, recently announced he was “proud to stand by side with Bradley Manning” and on the day of the pride parades tweeted, “I dedicate this Pride to American Hero Private Bradley Manning, our fellow gay freedom fighter currently locked up in Ft. Leavenworth, KS.”

The pride parade in Chicago was one of the first major events for the Chicago chapter of Bradley Manning supporters. Here in Chicago, activists are confronting the fact that many do not know of Manning.

2011-06-24 LGBT Community Rallies for PFC Bradley Manning at Pride Events

ImageBradley Manning Pride Contingents Planned for San Francisco, Chicago & Other Cities

Lieutenant Dan Choi Speaks Out in Support of PFC Manning

San Francisco, CA — This Sunday, June 26, during the Pride events in San Francisco, a contingent of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) activists and allies will rally in support of PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who stands accused of revealing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Similar Bradley Manning Pride Contingents are being organized for Pride events in several other cities, including in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and London. (A few of these events already took place last weekend.)

“Bradley Manning has stood with the LGBT community before, and we look forward to him marching with us again when he’s free,” said Andy Thayer of the Chicago Gay Liberation Network, and advisory board member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Bradley has a strong track record of standing up for human rights and equality. If he did what he is accused of—if he released information to the American people that should have been public in the first place—then it’s clear that his motivation was rooted in a commitment to social justice. He’s a hero.”

Details about Bradley Manning Pride Contingents (Sunday, June 26):


San Francisco

For details about other contingents, or for interviews or other information, contact Matt Smucker:, 717.209.0445

2011-06-23 Lt. Dan Choi: Proud to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder with Bradley Manning

While at Netroots Nation 2011, I had the privilege of speaking to Lieutenant Dan Choi, who served in the US Army infantry, went to war in Iraq and graduated from West Point with a degree in Arabic.

Choi was kicked out of the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) about one year ago. At Netroots Nation, Choi celebrated his one year "anniversary or birthday" as a civilian. He also noted that despite DADT being repealed there are still soldiers getting kicked out of the military for being gay.

The US government is putting Lt. Dan Choi on trial August 29 for "demonstrating in front of the White House in November of last year." Choi refuses to plead guilty or accept any kind of deal.

“I believe this Administration is making a grave mistake in limiting the areas, times and manners that free speech should be allowed," declares Choi. And adds nobody should be intimidated into not protesting.

I spoke to Choi the day after he had gone with Hamsher to support Bradley Manning Support Network co-founder David House, as he went before a federal grand jury investigating individuals supportive of alleged military whistleblower Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. Choi says House is an "American hero" and "our situations are exactly the same."

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