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L.A. gay pride festival names Amaechi grand marshal

4/5/2007 - NBA

LOS ANGELES -- Former NBA player John Amaechi, who came out
publicly, will be the grand marshal for a gay pride festival in
West Hollywood this summer.

Amaechi, a former Orlando Magic player who is now retired from
basketball, recently released a book called "Man in the Middle,"
which chronicles his life as a gay man.

"We are inspired by Amaechi's courage and convictions. Despite
personal risk, he opened himself up to the world and showed his
authentic self," said Rodney Scott, president of Christopher
Street West, an organization that advocates for the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community. The organization said Amaechi
was selected because he showed courage and conviction despite
personal risk.

The Los Angeles LGBT Pride Celebration is set for June 8-10 and
includes a parade on Santa Monica Boulevard.

"I am honored to be the grand marshal at this year's Pride
Celebration celebrating equality for each of us," Amaechi said.