There’s going to be a gay pride parade in New York City again this year (likely ignoring any remaining NY COVID restrictions) but some people may be missing from the crowd. The organizers of the annual event have announced that the New York City Police Department is not welcome at the parade. Where they found the authority to make such a pronouncement is completely unknown, but the person in charge certainly seems to feel as if he has the ability to make sweeping decisions like this. The ban applies to “participating” in the parade, but it’s not exactly clear how that would apply to municipal employees who are working in the vicinity of the parade as opposed to those who are marching. (ABC News)
Police will be banned from participating in NYC Pride events, including its signature LGBTQ march, until 2025, the organization announced Saturday.
NYC Pride is also working to reduce the New York Police Department’s security and first responder presence at its events, the organization said.
André Thomas, co-chair of Heritage of Pride, which produces NYC Pride, told ABC News it was a difficult decision that’s “not going to please everyone.”
“We know many LGBT cops,” Thomas said. “But what the institution represents sometimes to a person of color or trans person is violence, and that doesn’t make you feel safe. So that’s the perspective we’re coming from.
Reading a bit further into the report, the details become clearer. NYC Pride is apparently not saying that they are banning uniformed police officers from providing security on the streets during the march. (Although they have some plans along those lines that I’ll address in a moment.) That wouldn’t be possible for them to do even if they wanted to. Some of the organizers clearly would love to do that, but as the Rolling Stones taught us, you can’t always get what you want.
What they’re actually talking about are the roughly 200 members of the Gay Officers Action League, or GOAL. That’s a group that was formed to organize and support gay and lesbian police officers and other law enforcement officials. But those members are probably not going to be working the streets in uniform that day. They would be participating.
This is a pretty “hateful” action to try to take if you’ll pardon my use of the word. The marchers have every right to make use of the parade permit they apply for each year and expect to be kept safe from violence or interference. But how do the organizers propose to explain how people coming out to support them can be barred from participating? And particularly if they are not in uniform (which you’re not supposed to be when you’re off duty to begin with), how do they propose to stop them? Will there be pictures of the members of GOAL publicly posted with guards assigned to keep an eye out for them and give them the boot if they dare to show their faces? Huh. I’m just trying to picture how NYC Pride would react if anyone else posted a bunch of photos of gay and lesbian people urging the crowd to go after them.
GOAL President Brian Downey described the decision as “taking the low road.” For their part, the NYPD quickly announced that their uniformed officers would be there as usual, “ensuring safety and good order.”
Maybe it’s just me, but all of this just smells a bit too much like some BLM interference, doesn’t it? Also, the community that constantly takes to the streets to rant about exclusion and intolerance was pretty quick to fully embrace exclusion and intolerance toward gay and lesbian police officers, weren’t they?
The organizers told ABC News that they planned to “shift first response and security to trained private security and provide volunteers with de-escalation training.” They also want to keep uniformed police at least one block away from the event perimeter “wherever possible.” Yeah. Good luck with that. There are still plenty of bad actors out there who probably wouldn’t mind showing up and beating down some of your marchers. Apparently the ingrates running this show have forgotten that the police are there to protect them and to respond if things turn violent.