Brian Pendleton, the organizer of June’s Resist March, has resigned from the board of directors of Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization whose annual L.A. Pride parade was supplanted by the protest march this year.
Chris Classen, who heads CSW, confirmed that Pendleton had resigned shortly after the June 11 march. As of publication, WEHOville has been unable to reach Pendleton for a comment.
The march was controversial in some quarters, with business owners in WeHo’s Boystown area concerned that it would reduce sales on what traditionally has been one of their busiest days of the year. Others objected to not staging a Pride parade, which has been a tradition since 1970 (with the exception of a cancellation of the event in 1973).
The march attracted between 25,000 and 35,000 participants, according to numbers provided by law enforcement agencies. It also attracted major political figures such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader; U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, whose district includes West Hollywood; U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, and West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman.
While organizers and some supporters of the march were reluctant to promote it as a protest of Donald Trump, its participants — a mix of LGBT people, women’s rights advocates, immigrants and their supporters — clearly saw it that way given their signs and chants.
Classen said CSW will solicit nominations for board positions in September and will choose new board members in October.
CSW’s board of directors has undergone major changes, with four of the 15 members resigning in January and one the month before. Those resigning complained a requirement that they sign what they called “gag orders” (non-disclosure agreements) and said CSW was not supportive of the transgender community, was not transparent in its activities and finances and that they were no respected or listened to.
Pendleton, who had declined to sign the non-disclosure agreement, was expected to have helped the non-profit CSW raise money to keep it going. That was a special concern because of the cancellation of the parade, whose corporate sponsors such as Budweiser, Wells Fargo and Delta Airlines, make it a major revenue generator for the financially strapped organization. Last year’s Pride event was in the red by $365,000.