In the ever inclusive LBGTQ community, one group of people are no longer welcome in New York City’s gay pride parade, police officers.
The group Heritage of Pride which organizes an annual parade and other events throughout the year on Saturday said cops are no longer welcome at their events, even those in the LGBTQ community. That ban lasts until the year 2025.
“In a time of tremendous adversity for the community on many fronts, “The Fight Continues” reflects the multitude of battles we’ve been fighting as a country and as a city,” the group said in a statement. “With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, issues of police brutality, the alarming murder rate for trans POC, economic hardship, climate disasters, violent efforts to disenfranchise voters, our rights as a community being questioned at the level of the Supreme Court, and more, we are in the midst of many different fights.
NYC Pride announced new policies to address the presence of law enforcement and NYPD at Pride events in New York.
“NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate. The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason,” the group said. “NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community. The steps being taken by the organization challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change. Effective immediately, NYC Pride will ban corrections and law enforcement exhibitors at NYC Pride events until 2025. At that time their participation will be reviewed by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board. In the meantime, NYC Pride will transition to providing increased community-based security and first responders, while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.”
“NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate,” the group said in a statement on Saturday. “The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason.”
The Gay Officer’s Action League (GOAL) criticized the organization’s decision to single out LBGTQ police officers.
“The Gay Officers Action League (“GOAL”) is disheartened by the decision to ban our group from participating in New York City Pride. Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride) has long been a valued partner of our organization and its abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful,” the group said. “GOAL and our members have had our hands in every police reform and policy revision touching on the LGBTQIA+ community in New York City. As the result of our advocacy alongside our allies, NYPD revised its Patrol Guide in 2012 to include procedures specific to transgender and gender nonconforming New Yorkers. For nearly 30 years, GOAL has provided LGBTQIA+ training for every new NYPD recruit at the academy, educating future officers on the unique challenges facing our community. We also serve as victim advocates for those in our community that have needed to navigate the criminal justice system. These are just a few of the countless initiatives that GOAL has undertaken to change the culture of law enforcement. We are doing the work that leads to progress.”
Despite the assault on the LGBTQ community in the New York City Police Department, GOAL says it will continue to forge a positive relationship with the LGBTQ community in the city.
“Over the course of our nearly 40 years of existence, GOAL has worked feverishly to build a bridge between the LGBTQIA+ and criminal justice communities. Despite Heritage of Pride’s decision, our work will continue,” GOAL said.
Heritage of Pride touts itself as a group of Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion…that is, unless you happen to be an LGBTQ police officer.