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This Year's Obligatory Pride Controversy: Airbnb Sponsors the Parade

Scott Lucas | May 22, 2014 | Story Politics

An LGBT-friendly local business is sponsoring this year's San Francisco Pride Parade. It's hard to imagine why that would be controversial—until the business in question is Airbnb, which has found itself a target of controversy, especially among city progressives, for its perceived role in exacerbating the housing crisis and for failing to pay proper local taxes.

The controversy brings to mind last year's Chelsea Manning debacle, in which the soon-to-be-convicted Wikileaker was named an honorary grand marshal, only to have that distinction rescinded. Last June, we wrote that "the group's worst PR crisis in memory" may have been "due to pressure from one or more of its corporate sponsors." That dust-up led to the ouster of short-term Pride CEO Earl Plante in September. As SF Weekly writes of the current kerfuffle, "many say [that Pride] is straying farther and farther away from its fringey, political roots." (The move also comes as venerable drag showcase Trannyshack is dropping the word "tranny" from its name.)

If only there was a gay-friendly tech company that everybody in the community could get behind.

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