Organizers of New York City's annual LGBT pride parade have announced that the police will not be welcome at their supposedly 'inclusive' and 'celebratory' event this year, and beyond. They say they will not allow organizations of gay officers to participate, and they'll use private security to secure the festivities, asking NYPD to keep their distance.
Leave it to woke activists to target a unifying community event as an opportunity to sow division. Indeed, sowing division and exerting power are their specialities, after all:
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 decision, which organizers announced on Saturday, follows years of pressure from some L.G.B.T.Q. activists, who have maintained that law enforcement was out of place at a march with roots in the 1969 anti-police riot outside the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. It also comes after similar decisions in other cities around the country.
Andrew Sullivan, a prominent writer and a gay rights pioneer, is appalled:
It was one of the great achievements of the gay rights movement that we included openly gay cops in uniform in parades. It is now the goal of the Alphabet movement to undo all those gains.— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) May 15, 2021
Whatever they may say, my suspicion is that this isn't really about punishing law enforcement for injustices suffered more than five decades ago, long since apologized for. Police participation in pride parades in more recent times has, in fact, been seen by many as a symbol of important progress and heartening reconciliation. Granted, it would be very on-brand for identitarian leftists to ignore meaningful progress in order to collectively punish groups for the actions of some of their predecessors, all while fixating on oppression hierarchies. But this feels much more like hardcore progressive 'activists' listening to the loudest shouters and actively choosing to exclude and demonize law enforcement, a current hobby horse of the hard Left:
The decision by Pride organizers reflects shifting attitudes toward policing in the city and the growing pressure on city institutions to address longstanding complaints about diversity and inclusion. Mainstream L.G.B.T.Q. organizations have for decades been criticized for prioritizing the concerns of some groups over others, with transgender people and people of color saying the push for progress has often left them behind. “The issue is, how do we make Pride safe for the people who feel the most marginalized and have often been left out of the conversations about how Pride is run?” said Beverly Tillery, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, an L.G.B.T.Q. rights group...In the case of NYC Pride, the changes are meant to address concerns voiced by some transgender, Black and Latino people who say they felt unsafe marching in front of a police force that routinely targeted and victimized them. NYC Pride had previously resisted demands to sever its ties to the police.
Pride must feel "safe" for people who "feel the most marginalized." And if that means rejecting LGBT people who happen to be cops, disallowing them to partake in prideful celebrations of their own identities, that's the price of wokeness. It increasingly feels like progressive agitators' definition of "progress" is in conflict with actual progress. The gay rights movement has triumphed in recent years by, in large measure, appealing to wider swaths of the population, employing inclusive and uplifting messaging like "love is love," and steadily reversing unfair fears and stigmas. That all feels rather different than narrow minded left-wing activists deciding which LGBT people are allowed to participate in pride parades. LGBT cops are understandably unhappy with the decision:
Word of the ban came out Friday when the Gay Officers Action League said in a release it was disheartened by the decision. The group called the ban an “abrupt about-face” and said the decision “to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful.”... Detective Sophia Mason, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department, said on Saturday the department’s “annual work to ensure a safe, enjoyable Pride season has been increasingly embraced by its participants.” She added: “The idea of officers being excluded is disheartening and runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance. That said, we’ll still be there to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event.”
I'd imagine the snubbed groups will abide by organizers' exclusionary and divisive wishes, but I'm curious: If a group of LGBT officers decided to show up anyway, who would the aggrieved activists call? I'll leave you with this:
Back in 1996, GOAL (gay cops) had to sue the NYPD to march formally in the Pride Parade as NYPD. GOAL won and the NYPD was reluctantly dragged into the late 20th century. Now GOAL is banned from the Pride Parade because they're cops. https://t.co/Lqw3QJNBVA https://t.co/xr2kBj1FQ2 pic.twitter.com/3GkUDxFTv4— Peter Moskos (@PeterMoskos) May 16, 2021