San Francisco Pride wants LGTB police to celebrate identity but not career

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News

 

Once upon a time, LGTB police officers were asked to keep their sexual orientations hidden ‘in the closet.’ Now they’re being asked to celebrate their queerness but to keep their uniforms closeted. It’s the second year that the San Francisco Pride Parade, local Police Officers’ Pride Alliance (SFPOPA), and the police department have been snared up in controversy stemming from law enforcement response to the 2020 riots. A recent compromise, meanwhile, has left people on both sides of the issue upset.

“Pride grew out of conflicts between LGBTQ communities and police at Compton’s Cafeteria and Stonewall Inn,” the pride parade and SFPOPA said in a joint statement on Friday. “Ever since then, we have attempted to bridge that divide. That is why we are grateful to have reached a compromise solution today.”

The compromise involves allowing first responders to march in the late June parade “in casual dress” – which would include the parade’s previous acceptable dress code of a San Francisco Police Department t-shirt – while command staff don dress uniforms. A few officers who identify in the LGTB community will wear a full uniform for security purposes. All first responders will march together.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott tweeted that he was “extremely pleased” with the compromise between the two organizations.

The city’s mayor, London Breed, who will lead the first responder’s contingency, said she appreciated the teamwork behind the agreement. She added, “The understanding and respect they showed each other is reflective of this year’s pride theme: Love brings us together.”

The problem is that the agreement has done little to bring unity to anybody. Aside from having officers march together, very little has changed from the original uniform ban that had the San Francisco police, fire department, and mayor threatening to boycott participating in the parade.

At the time, SFPOPA said the alliance would never order another subgroup of the community to change their dress code. They stated, “But they have told us, peace officers, that if we wear our uniforms, we may not attend. For LGBTQ+ officers, this brings us back to a time when we had to hide at work that we were LGTBTQ+.”

Meanwhile, the police chief received backlash from the public on his tweeted compromise statement:

 

The ban on uniformed officers at San Francisco Pride began after the 2020 riots, where the police received backlash for taking action to control the crowds. Still, despite the animosity, the community does want the police around in case of an emergency. Event leaders even went so far as to mention needing police security to respond in the event of a mass shooting, according to an Axios report.

Additionally, several pride-connected festivals and rallies within the city have asked that uniformed police remain “respectfully at the perimeters” instead of patrolling from within. The situation begs the question, then, why the community insists on villainizing law enforcement while at the same time acknowledging their necessity?

Meanwhile, the hypocritical non-inclusivity towards the profession shows that most liberals think only certain voices deserve respect. There is no mercy or grace extended from individuals in this mindset. This encourages group politics by elevating certain identities over others. Accordingly, there can be no true unification, not even among their own party and voters.

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