NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NYC Pride is banning law enforcement from participating in its annual march in June.
The organization says the move is to make participants feel safer.
But as CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Monday, LGBTQ officers say it only creates further divisions.
The Pride March is an annual celebration of self acceptance, but now organizers say in an effort to be more inclusive they have to keep law enforcement out.
“Give the mic back. Hand it over to the people that started this movement, and that’s trans people of color who started this. And we have to give them that space back and that space has to be safe for them,” said David Correa, the interim executive director of NYC Pride.
While most of the events will be virtual this year, the ban against NYPD and correction officers extends until at least 2025.
“This is not a personal issue. This is a systematic issue. And we have to address it as a systematic issue,” Correa said.
The NYPD says the move, “runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance.”
Meanwhile, the Gay Officers Action League had a stronger response.
“It’s shameful from them to segregate us, because we have worked so hard to all of us being included. For us to be excluded, it really took us back,” GOAL VP Ana Arboleda said.
NYC Pride was born out of the Stonewall uprising of 1969, when law enforcement violently clashed with the LGBTQ+ community. Critics say over time the Pride March had veered from its initial purpose.
“We met with them three years ago and we were met with a rainbow wall of silence,” said Jay Walker, co-founder of Reclaim Pride.
But it was a confrontation last year between the NYPD and protesters at the Queer Liberation March, which Walker’s organization hosted, that renewed conversations about the tense relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s finally penetrated into their consciousness, and I suppose that’s a good thing, but we’ll have to see what happens next year,” Walker said.
Pride’s theme this year is “The Fight Continues.”
When asked if she would be open to joining the festivities out of uniform, Arboleda said, “The proudest moments is to be there and to be in uniform. A lot of those gay youth will not see that representation.”
And that fight, is still very complex.