The president of Seattle Pride resigned after acknowledging he misrepresented the sponsorship agreement with Delta Air Lines, a new sponsor of the Pride Parade, telling Alaska Airlines employees they could not wear Alaska T-shirts or any branding at the parade.

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The president of Seattle Pride resigned Thursday after acknowledging he misrepresented the Pride Parade’s sponsorship agreement with Delta Air Lines.

Eric Bennett had previously told Alaska Airlines employees they could not wear their company’s uniforms or logos in the June parade as they had done in years past, due to an exclusive agreement with Delta.

Bennett incorrectly understood the board’s three-year contract with Delta, a new corporate sponsor of the event, according to David Hale, vice president-elect and sponsorship director of Seattle Pride, a nonprofit organization that puts on a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride events in the city.

“Following his apology and taking responsibility for the error, Eric resigned last night,” Hale said Thursday.

Hale said the Seattle Pride board also renewed its apology to Alaska Airlines employees and has been told the Alaska Airlines employees will march in the parade this year.

The whole flap first came to public attention after a column by Danny Westneat appeared in The Seattle Times.

After the column ran, Seattle Pride claimed Westneat’s column was wrong until Westneat presented emails showing that Bennett had claimed the new deal with Delta prevented Alaska workers from wearing so much as an Eskimo logo.

Hale said, “Danny educated me and the rest of the board about this correspondence between our president” and the representative of the Alaska employee group.

Alaska Airlines had been a sponsor of the parade in years past, and many employees participated wearing company uniforms and logos. Last year, 50 members of the airline’s Gay, Lesbian, Other and Bisexual Employees (GLOBE) group took part, with some wearing pilot hats and toting a banner that read “The LGBT community has come so far. Let us fly you the rest of the way. Alaska Airlines/gay travel.”

Kevin Larson, vice president of GLOBE, told Westneat his group originally had been told that Alaska employees could be in the parade but could not be identified “as working for Alaska Airlines or wearing Alaska T-shirts or any branding.”

As this is the first year Delta is an event sponsor, Hale said, Bennett “unilaterally misunderstood the contract and thought that meant Alaska had to scale back their branding.”

The mistake was Bennett’s alone, Hale said.

“Our board has always believed that the sponsorship agreement with Delta says nothing about who can participate in the parade, what they can wear or what signs they can carry,” he said.

“Eric has apologized for that and resigned.”

Bennett, a longtime volunteer for the organization who served six years on the board including two years as president, could not be reached for comment.

“I think this has been tough for him,” said Hale. “He was upset and it’s unfortunate for him that he went out this way but he understood the gravity of his error. He is definitely owning his apology and did not mean to cause this problem.”

Bennett would have been leaving the board in August at the end of his term, Hale said, and elections have been held.

The vice president and president-elect of the board, Kevin Toovey, will serve as interim president until August, Hale said.