Heritage of Pride the group responsible for NYC’s Official Pride festivities after many years of complaints from trans-activists and QPOC have decided that the LGBT NYPD/Law Enforcement will NOT be allowed to participate.
The New York Times reports:
New York City’s annual Pride celebration, which began 51 years ago as a defiant commemoration of an anti-police uprising and has evolved into a city-sanctioned equality jamboree, will take steps to reduce the presence of law enforcement at its events.
Starting this year, police and corrections officers will also not be allowed to participate as a group in the annual Pride march until at least 2025. The ban includes the Gay Officers Action League, an organization of L.G.B.T.Q. police, which announced the news in a statement on Friday night.
The New York Police Department will also be asked to stay a block away from the edge of all in-person events, including the march. Heritage of Pride, which organizes events, will instead turn to private companies for security and safety, calling police officers in emergencies only when necessary, they said.
The NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League responds:
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.
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.
GOAL’s efforts extend beyond New York. We have facilitated LGBTQIA+ sensitivity and awareness training for criminal justice agencies throughout the region and internationally.
Our efforts have served as a model for police departments pursuing their own LGBTQIA+ programs. There are many partners for change throughout law enforcement. For them to succeed, they need to be supported by leading LGBTQIA+ groups, not excommunicated by them.
“Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large scale event to occur without police presence. So their response to activist pressure is to take the low road by preventing their fellow community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots,” says GOAL President Brian Downey.
He continues: “It is demoralizing that Heritage of Pride didn’t have the courage to refer to GOAL by name in its announcement, referring to us only as ‘Law Enforcement Exhibitors.’ The label is not only offensive but dehumanizing for our members.”
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.