Should Pride Join Opposition To War Against Iraq?
Pride Committee Seeks Community Input


In response to rising domestic and international concern about the looming threat of a U.S. war against Iraq, San Francisco Pride is considering joining a growing number of civil rights, business, religious and environmental leaders who are voicing opposition toward military action in Iraq. Members of the public are invited to offer their opinion about what kind of position the organization should take at the next General Meeting of the Pride Committee, February 11, 7 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center.

Pride President, Joey Cain, said:

"Pride brings together different people, in peace, to celebrate our unity. It is appropriate that we ask the question how we uphold the values of cooperation and understanding, which are central to our mission and the antithesis of war. Our theme this year, 'You've Gotta Give Them Hope', reaffirms our hope to create a better world for all people, where we can find peaceful solutions to conflict and create respect for diversity."

Already, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the NAACP, the National Organization for Women, the Sierra Club and the National Council of Churches among others have joined a coalition called: "Keep America Safe: Win Without War." San Francisco Pride could choose to join these organizations or craft its own statement for peaceful resolution of conflict in the Middle East.

Pride Executive Director Teddy Witherington said:

"Pride must balance the views of the broad community that it represents and not forget those members of our community who serve in the military. We cannot ignore the insidious 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and must reaffirm our commitment to the rights of LGBT servicemen and women to serve without discrimination."

The meeting on February 11 looks set to draw a large crowd. The LGBT Community Center is located at 1800 Market Street, San Francisco. To reserve speaking time at the meeting, please call the pride office at: (415) 864-0831 or email media@sfpride.org.

Next year is the 33rd anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration and the 25th anniversary of the Rainbow Flag, born on the San Francisco Pride Parade in 1978. The 2003 event theme is "You’ve Gotta Give Them Hope." The event is to be held over the June 28/29 weekend. For more information about San Francisco Pride, please visit our website at: http://www.sfpride.org


ENDS

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