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Thursday, June 17, 2021

NYC Pride To LGBT Cops: You’re Not Welcome At Our Parade

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Like a bullied kid befriending his tormentor, the NYPD continues to appease Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride). The department thanked all LGBT folks for their “inspiring drive towards equality” — despite NYC Pride recently announcing it would not allow uniformed officers to participate in any events until 2025 at the earliest.

NYC Pride issued a statement in May that it will “take steps to keep police officers at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible. Although NYC Pride has no legal authority to prohibit officers from performing law enforcement duties, the group is attempting to minimize NYPD’s presence by replacing the department’s officers with private security and community volunteers.

“NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials,” the group said, citing undefined “excessive force” and “violence against marginalized groups” as a reason for the ban. 

Supporters reacted enthusiastically to the May announcement, saying cops “should not be here,” a sentiment that contradicts the Pride movement’s purported pushes for inclusivity.

Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), which prides itself on its work to enact “police reform and policy revision touching on the LGBTQIA+ community in New York City,” will not be allowed to attend the parade to show its support. GOAL typically marches in an effort to bridge relations between law enforcement and LGBT folks. 

GOAL said it was “disheartened” by the news of the police ban. “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 said in a statement. 

Ravi Satkalmi, a gay police officer, wrote an opinion for the New York Daily News about his disappointment in an organization that had promised acceptance and inclusion. “The move makes absolutely clear that one has to choose between being gay or being in law enforcement, recreating for queer officers the unconscionable conundrum that we have fought decades to banish,” the officer wrote. “For a new gay officer or recruit who is struggling with whether

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