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NYC Pride Bans Police From PRIDE Festivities. NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League Responds.

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.

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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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4 thoughts on “NYC Pride Bans Police From PRIDE Festivities. NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League Responds.”

  1. The fascist in the gay community have taken over. I done with the community. y’all do you. Peace Nazis ✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️

  2. Will, I was hoping to see your take on this story. I will repeat here what I posted on another news blog (JMG).

    I remember PRIDE marches that were celebratory and welcoming of all sexual minorities and friends and allies. When anyone who carried a rainbow flag or a wore a t-shirt exclaiming PRIDE or marched in support were welcome. I cannot fathom the LGBT+ community laying a guilt trip by association on any allied group.

    It seems to me that the Log Cabin group is more antithetical to the LGBT community than GOAL. And if racism is the issue, just ban all white folks from the PRIDE parade, because of course we white folks are all racist by virtue of our DNA. A lot of straight people are violently anti-LGBT. Do they ban groups of straight allies like P-Flag? A lot of religions are racist and anti-LGBT and do harm to POC and LGBTs; do they ban all LGBT religious groups like Metropolitan Community Church, Integrity, Unitarian/Universalist because of guilt by association?

    I still have T-shirts from the March on Washington in 1987 when there was at least the appearance of unity and solidarity. If this holier than thou attitude is what the movement has become I’m glad I am no longer in any kind of leadership position, because my sanctity would surely be questionable. It seems neither GAY nor PROUD to be requiring a litmus test for who is worthy to march down 5th avenue or on any street in any city in the country on Pride Day. And let me just add that if any LGBTQ+ person does not “feel safe” in the presence of a GOAL officer, ________________. (I’m thinking there are so many ways to finish that sentence.)

  3. Cops have a lot to answer for. The “Blue Wall of Silence” is real, and the cops who have actually crossed over it to stand on the side of justice can be counted on one hand. Racist violence by cops is real, and the body count is climbing ever higher even after last summer’s apocalyptic battles for change. The militarization of law enforcement is real, making deadly force a first resort for too many departments, with officers routinely no-billed by grand juries and cleared by departmental review, putting them back out on the street to kill again.

    And despite all that, I cannot go along with the decision to bar a group of LGBTQI cops and corrections officers from participating in a Pride event. If common decency doesn’t dictate their inclusion, common cause should. The community is under attack. All the landmines Donald Trump deployed during his four-year reign of terror are still out there, still set to explode. We need to be united, or we’ll be squabbling amongst ourselves as they herd us into cattle cars.

    Right now, it’s trans kids, being targeted by GOP legislators in statehouses across the country. This vulnerable, historically disadvantaged and abused population is low-hanging fruit for neo-con demagogues, who gin up fear and anger about “boys in girls’ locker rooms” and “boys stealing girls’ athletic scholarships” to strip trans kids of any protection, any legal standing, even proper medical care. If they succeed, does anyone reading this believe they’ll be content, and leave the rest of the LGBTQI population alone? We’ll be ice-skating in Hell before THAT happens! The neo-cons will have established a legal precedent, which will make further rollbacks of rights easier.

    And don’t forget all the appointed-for-life federal judges and Supreme Court Justices Trump got to install. Each one is a landmine waiting to go off. As the neo-cons’ legal attacks on our community wend their way through the court system, they will find allies at almost every stop along the way, all the way up to the Supreme Court.

    So, hang together or hang separately. What’s it gonna be?

    Shalom, y’all.

    Bill J. from Austin

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