More troubling than this fawning from avowed enemies of the American “security state” is Ms. Manning’s embrace by large swaths of the LGBT community. At the New York City Pride March in June, thousands cheered as Ms. Manning sat atop the American Civil Liberties Union float. While in prison, she had repeatedly been named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco’s gay pride celebration. She has also been the subject of constant, adulatory coverage in gay media.
Celebrating Chelsea Manning just a few years after gay and transgender people were permitted to serve openly in the military discredits the LGBT cause. Throughout most of the 20th century, homosexuality was associated with treason and used as a basis for purging gay people from government jobs, denying them security clearances and restricting their service in the armed forces. The decision by Ms. Manning’s defense team to argue that untreated gender dysphoria was a factor in her decision to leak classified information unwittingly aids those who say that LGBT people cannot be trusted in sensitive government jobs. And it dishonors the LGBT people who have served in the military throughout history without betraying their country.