The Community Speaks
Record Vote For Community & Diversity In Grand Marshal Ballot
Helms Receives 666 Votes In Pink Brick Ballot


A record 4,995 people have voted in this year’s Parade Grand Marshal ballot, more than twice the number who voted last year.

Pride President, Joshua Smith, said: “The increased response affirms the interest in those people who change the world and underscores our commitment to reaching out to the diverse communities that take part in pride.”

The Pride Committee met last night to receive the results and ratified the choice made by the community by selecting the candidates who, between them, polled over 50% of the total vote. Joining Celebrity Grand Marshals Sir Ian McKellen and Sharon Gless will be; transgender activists Christopher Lee and Shawna Virago, human rights advocate Hoover Lee, and, City Treasurer Susan Leal. The remaining nominees in the individual category were all confirmed as honorary marshals of the Parade.

Voting took place at special polling booths in the community as well as by ballots printed in the LGBT media.

In the Organization category, the newly opened San Francisco LGBT Community Center topped the Poll and will be the Organization Grand Marshal of the Parade. The Pride Committee is donating the use of a trailer to the Community Center, at no cost, so that a fabulous float can be built.

"The Center is extremely honored to be the organization selected by the community as a grand marshal of the Pride Parade," said Dana Van Gorder, Vice-President of the Center Board of Directors. "Pride is a time when our community comes together to celebrate and honor our lives as LGBT people. The Center is a place to give that pride a home, it is a permanent location to showcase our history and build our future together."

In the “Pink Brick” category, where the community selected its nemesis, Dr Laura Schlesinger received the highest number of votes, 904. Senator Jesse Helms, who recently apologized for this insensitivity to people living with HIV and AIDS came in third with 666 votes, behind Jerry Falwell.

Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, said: “This shows that our community is strong and that we remember who are our allies and who are not. Now I have to go and paint a brick and find out where to send it.”

The full list of results can be found at http://www.sfpride.org/marshals.htm together with brief biographies of the Grand Marshals in the Individual category.

This year is the 32nd anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Celebration and the Parade. The event is to be held over the June 29/30 weekend. The event theme is “Be Yourself, Change The World.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at: (415) 864 0831