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Sacramento PRIDE Bans LGBT Police in Uniform From Events, Gay Police Officer Speaks Out

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.”

Officer Kuhlman went into further detail in an interview with CBS 13 and FOX 40 Sarcramento which you can watch below.

*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

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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9 thoughts on “Sacramento PRIDE Bans LGBT Police in Uniform From Events, Gay Police Officer Speaks Out”

  1. LGBTQ people , of a certain age, remember a time when it was not safe to go to work as an open LGBTQ Police Officer or almost any work place… get over yourself. Keep your eye on the ball… The Federal Government under this current administration is attacking our rights on every front. A corporate logo or a professional in uniform is a sign of inclusion that we fought decades for…

  2. I personally feel that Sacramento pride organizers are wrong. I am proud of the LGBTQ men & women in uniform. They deserve equal rights to march and wear their uniforms as anyone else. If they are working towards attaining the rights we have, again. Some of the younger people will never understand, what happened at Stonewall. I am grateful these men & women worked from within and came out as well, to show we are no different than anyone else fighting for their Human Right, Civil Rights and Equality. I am not a policeman, however know what men & women in uniform on the force go through, as well as our men & women deployed have gone through. I don’t see the acceptance here and it bothers me immensely. Stop it!! Include our brothers & sisters from every walk of life regardless of their career. These folks were not at Stonewall, they did fight the stigma those police put on or tried putting on us as LGBTQ individuals. Free & Proud! So allow them the same right to feel what we have all worked toward without being shut out from who they are.
    HJ Ward

  3. There are too many for whom officers in uniform are not a welcoming sight. I think it is appropriate to ask police officers, and others, to not appear in their uniforms. Few others wear their work uniforms to Pride. Why do police feel the need to do so? It seems odd to me that Pride organizers would have to ask or that police officers or others would seek to wear those uniforms. Actually, I think that police officers and others should not be wearing those uniforms off duty in any setting.

  4. Uniform, no uniform (Officers have also been warned by event organizers that even in their polos, protests of their presence are likely.) Feeling uncomfortable with LGBT police officers in the parade…these are the professionals who, far from making you feel “unsafe” would be the first to protect your sorry ass if you were truly threatened or a victim of violence. Stonewall was a different time; recognize how far we’ve come.

  5. This is wrong. When we proposed the first Pride, it was with the proviso that there be no dress code as there had been at early LGBT pickets. This is s slippery slope, people. The next thing you know, Pride events will start discriminating against religious displays that are protected under the First Amendment. Actually, that’s now happening in the DC Dyke March; Star of David’s are banned.

    This needs to stop. Discrimination can never be a LGBT value.

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