Jun 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

More Pride events banning police from parades

NYPD officers ride their motor cycles at the annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29, 2019 in New York.
NYPD officers ride their motor cycles at the annual Pride Parade in 2019 in New York. Photo: Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Organizers of LGBTQ Pride marches across the U.S. are telling local police departments they can't officially march in annual parades.

Why it matters: Yearly Pride events typically are times for police to march and network with LGBTQ community members, but police shootings of Black Americans and the historic fact that Stonewall was a riot against overpolicing have organizers reconsidering officer participation.

  • Pride events that maintain a high-profile police presence are creating tension between LGBTQ members who support the Black Lives Matter Movement and some Pride boards made of predominantly white volunteers who want police participating in events.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Police Officers Pride Alliance recently announced they would not march in this year’s parade because Pride organizers have banned them from wearing their uniforms, Axios San Francisco's Nick Bastone reports.

OutFront Minnesota, an LGBTQ advocacy group in Minneapolis, said last month it would not participate in the Twin Cities Pride festival this year because Twin Cities Pride will keep a presence of police officers, Axios Twin Cities' Torey Van Oot reports.

  • Twin Cities Pride said they are required by local law to have police for safety.

In Seattle, leaders of PrideFest have asked police to stay off of the festival grounds for this year's June 26 event, Axios Seattle's Melissa Santos reports.

  • It takes place at the end of the Seattle Pride parade route and is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.
  • PrideFest is making the same request for a smaller event it will host June 25 on Capitol Hill.
  • Meanwhile, Capitol Hill Pride is also banning officers from participating in a separate rally and march it hosts each year in the neighborhood, the historic center of Seattle's LGBTQ community.

Yes, but: Seattle Pride will still allow officers to participate in the parade.

  • In Salt Lake City, the police will march and serve as escorts in uniform.
  • Des Moines police are welcome to participate in this year’s Capital City Pride Fest Parade but it’s still unknown whether officers will accept the offer, event spokesperson Jody Gifford tells Axios Des Moines' Jason Clayworth.

Between the lines: Pride events in New York City, Denver, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, in recent years have banned officers in uniform from participating following criticism that Pride organizers ignored LGBTQ members of color.

  • Black Americans and Latinos also criticized their companies for allowing employees to attend nonpolitical Pride events but limiting their participation in Black Lives Matter protests two years ago.

But, but, but: With the passage of anti-transgender bills and book bans in various states, Pride gatherings have recaptured political tones of resistance.

Don't forget: Pride events are rooted in the 1969 Stonewall Riots, also known as the Stonewall Uprising, in New York after police raided a gay club and gay and transgender people fought back. The uprising sparked the modern gay rights movement.

  • The next day, members of the Black Panthers came to join gay protests and aggressive policing.

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