With a simple Facebook post (it's always a Facebook post, isn't it?), the San Francisco Pride commmittee sparked further outrage over the weekend within the local LGBT community. The update in question had to do with a meeting change... at least on the surface. But, for many, it seemed like a quaint way of silencing dissenting voices. Of which there are many.
San Francisco Pride May Membership Meeting Update:
We are seeking a larger venue for the next SF Pride membership meeting, and so are postponing the May 14th meeting until a suitable location is secured. We want to allow people to have a chance to voice their opinions about the recent controversy, but also have a large event coming up, and do not want to let one issue, as important as it is to some, overshadow the concerns and interests of the hundreds of thousands who attend SF Pride.
SF Pride's decision concerning the election process of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal being consistent with SF Pride's long standing Grand Marshal election policy is firm. Thus, the discussion of that matter is closed for this year.
A meeting in a larger venue after the 2013 Celebration and Parade will allow people from all sides of that issue and others to fully air and hear one another's viewpoints, without jeopardizing the production of this year's event and the safety and security of the attendees. We ask everyone in the community to come together in Pride this June, recognizing that we can embrace difference without violence and hate.
In case you didn't catch that: "[T]he discussion of that matter is closed for this year."
In response -- oh, the response! -- locals took to Facebook to reply with ire and scorn. In addition to accusing SF Pride of deleting negative comments, many had coarse words for the increasingly mainstream-gay celebration of queerdom. Behold:
Jess Jones: "How can you ask the community to come together, and then silence the members who don't agree with you? I can't believe this is the way SFPride has become."
Ian Ash: "You do realize you just silenced and disempowered a minority of SF Pride supporters using the argument that a "long standing" policy is to be observed and that this issue is only important to some and not all. You do see the hypocrisy in that right?"
Patrick Connors: "[...] Using the language of the right wing opponents of LGBT liberty - equating dissent and disagreement with hate and violence - is extremely disconcerting. That is what I expect to hear from NOM or Rick Santorum or Archbishop Cordileone. You are going back on your word to address this matter openly before the Pride event and you are doubling down on your ill advised decision to change the vote of the Electoral College. The SF Pride board does not represent this married gay couple and we are now motivated to work hard at drawing attention to your failings and corruption."
Ben Goldstein: "SF Pride lost the vision and meaning of Stonewall decades ago; today's Pride is beholden to special moneyed interests and will not rock the boat, in order to continue to exist. Small wonder to see how unresponsive to the community they have become...the corporate sponsored consumerfest known as Pride today is a sorry sequel to the unlawful RIOT against oppression that was Stonewall."
Mitch Hightower: "You can only participate in SF Pride if you are 'the right kind of gay.' "
San Francisco Gay Pride, if you recall, came under fire after revoking Grand Marshal honors for Bradley Manning. Following the publicized SNAFU, Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian penned a damning piece on S.F. Pride and its reliance on "corporate sleaze."