Law enforcement and firefighters will not participate in the Pride Parade unless organizers let them march in uniform

San Francisco law enforcement officers and firefighters said Monday they would not participate in the city’s annual Pride parade after Pride organizers said officers could not wear their uniforms during the parade.

The San Francisco Police Officers Pride Alliance and LGBTQ+ members of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office released a joint statement in response to the San Francisco Pride Committee asking police officers to attend the parade without their uniforms.

LGBTQ+ firefighters from the San Francisco Fire Department also signed the statement and said they would not participate in the Pride Parade in solidarity with city law enforcement.

Law enforcement and firefighters have argued that Pride organizers, who voted in 2020 to ban uniformed officers after a summer of nationwide protests against police brutality, are effectively punishing them for the actions of other officers. .

“The San Francisco Pride Committee has asked LGBTQ+ peace officers to return to the closet,” the police and fire department said. “San Francisco and the San Francisco Pride Parade has always embraced radical inclusivity as one of our core values.”

Officers and firefighters also argued that Pride organizers would not take similar action against other groups that regularly participate in Pride, such as drag and kink communities.

“This committee would not order the leather community to wear polyester on parade. This committee would not order the drag community to wear flannel,” they said. “But they told us law enforcement officers that if we wear our uniforms, we might not attend.”

SF Pride did not respond to a request for comment on the joint statement.

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Dorsey, one of two LGBTQ+ members of the city’s Board of Supervisors, said they would also not attend Pride or take part in the parade in solidarity with the forces of the order.

Dorsey, who was the director of communications for the San Francisco Police Department before Breed was named to the board earlier this month, called the policy “exclusionary.”

He also called on Pride organizers and law enforcement officials to find common ground in a bid to attract more LGBTQ+ officers to fill the city’s police shortage.

“All San Franciscans share a compelling interest in solving our public safety staffing crisis in a way that attracts the most diverse and qualified pool of candidates possible,” he said. “We can do this by showing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our police, fire and sheriff services.

“But an exclusionary policy, which prohibits LGBTQ+ first responders and allies from marching in uniform, sends exactly the wrong message at a time when we can’t afford to,” Dorsey said.

The 52nd Annual San Francisco Pride Celebration will take place at Civic Center Plaza from noon to 6 p.m. on June 25 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 26. The parade is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. on June 26.

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