Sacramento PRIDE has dis-invited local LGBT police officers from attending the city’s yearly events because their presence might make “marginalized” (ie. trans, QPOC) members of the community feel unsafe.
For years, uniformed gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and straight Sacramento officers have staffed outreach booths and marched in PRIDE.
“The foundation of PRIDE 50 years ago was the original Stonewall riots which was an uprising against police brutality,” explained David Heitstuman, executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Center.
“Not everyone feels safe in the presence of uniforms,” he said.
Officers have also been warned by event organizers that even in their polos, protests of their presence are likely.
Openly gay Sacramento police officer Officer Jeff Kuhlmann is speaking out against Sac Prides Police ban.
With a photo in Time magazine, Kuhlmann became a national symbol of the Supreme Court’s support for marriage equality in 2015.
Now in his 15th year on the force, he’s been told that as a gay man he can’t march in his own city’s PRIDE parade dressed as he appears on patrol.
“It was … it was shocking,” said Officer Jeff Kuhlmann.
The Sacramento police department has released the following statement about what’s happened:
“Our police department is disappointed that the LGBT Center does not want our officers attending upcoming public community events while in uniform. We support our LGBT(Q) officers who proudly serve our community on a daily basis. They have worked hard to earn these uniforms and are proud to wear them.”
*Back2Stonewall does not agree with certain PRIDE organizations for banning LGBT and straight ally police officers from marching in uniform and participating in PRIDE celebrations. LGBT police officers have worked tirelessly from within to change law enforcement attitudes to the community and serve and protect us everyday. They should be allowed to be proud of who they are.
Exclusion for inclusion is NOT an LGBT value – WK