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August 22, 2013

Supporters say Manning's gender identity is old news

(Continued)

CRESCENT, Okla. —

“Crescent doesn’t support anything that would put our troops at risk,” Stanton said. “I have to say it is not supportive at all. The feel I get as city manager (is) there is a tremendous lack of support for what he did.”

Guay was one of about a dozen supporters at a candlelight vigil held in Crescent on Wednesday night, in support of Manning.

She called Manning a person of integrity and believes he should be pardoned.

“The bottom line is he is a person of courage and integrity, regardless what his gender is,” Guay said.

During his trial, Manning’s defense team suggested his struggles with gender identity as a gay soldier were a factor in his decision to leak the documents.

Don Heath, pastor of Edmond Trinity Christian Church, which announced earlier this year that its congregation is open and affirming to the gay community, said he admires Manning’s actions today.

“I always admire someone for coming out. It takes courage and it emboldens other LGBT people to come out,” Heath said. “It takes even more courage to come out while you are beginning a long prison sentence, knowing the ridicule that you are likely to face from jailers and other prisoners and that you will have to wait years for surgery.”

Heath said Manning’s announcement adds credibility to his previous explanation for leaking the documents.

“He is not afraid to face the consequences for revealing what he believes were unjust actions by the United States government. I believe Bradley Manning’s story,” Heath said. “If it is true, he stands in solidarity with Biblical prophets who risked their own well-being to bring the oppression of the monarch to light.”

Van Mitchell writes for The Edmond (Okla.) Sun.

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