Filner Won't Attend SD Pride Fest

The embattled mayor released a statement in the middle of the firestorm surrounding City Hall

Embattled Mayor Bob Filner remained mum Friday as more local leaders demanded his resignation, but the mayor did say one thing to the public: he’s not attending this weekend’s big Pride celebration in Hillcrest.

Filner’s office released the following statement Friday:

“A message to my brothers and sisters at Pride: It is with great regret, but utmost respect for the tradition of Pride, that I have decided not to participate this year. Although I have participated proudly many years in the past, I am concerned that the current controversy surrounding me could distract from the importance of what the whole Pride movement stands for. I have no intention of allowing such a distraction. Please know that I am there with you in spirit, cheering you on and celebrating the extraordinary progress, especially recently, made for the gay community. I’m PROUD of you all!!”

Filner’s sole statement Friday came amid a very busy day in the scandal surrounding the mayor, who’s accused of sexually harassing several women that have yet to be identified.

In the afternoon, Democratic leaders Toni Atkins and Lorena Gonzalez held a news conference in which they called for Filner to resign immediately.

Gonzalez said she had personally heard from victims that had been physically and verbally harassed by Filner, but did not name names.

Minutes after the conference, Filner’s chief of staff, Vince Hall, resigned.

Hall posted this update on his Twitter page: “As a lifelong activist for women’s rights and equality, I feel I must resign effective today.”

As for San Diego Pride, the show will go on without the mayor.

This year’s celebration is slated to be the biggest ever, given recent historic marriage-equality victories that have brought same-sex marriage back to California.

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