• Alyssa Roberts

NYC Pride Parade’s Law Enforcement Ban: What Does it Mean for Cops?

It’s June 2nd and cities across the world are preparing for the annual Pride Parade. New York City’s Heritage of Pride, amongst many other organizers nation and world wide, have revealed a ban of uniformed officers marching this year. For NYC, this is new, but for others, this has been implemented earlier in the pride march career. Here is a brief overview and history of the Pride Parade accompanied by reasons and rebuttals for this new guideline:

The Stonewall Inn has earned notoriety in its association with the 1969 riot that sparked the gay pride movement. The 1950s and 60s have been described as some of the most difficult periods of time for members of the LGBTQ+ community as they sought self expression in a repressive environment. At the time, female and male homosexuality was perceived as mental illness embodying a harmful social stigma. Two less known organizations led various LGBTQ+ rights demonstrations, but it was June 28th, 1969 that propelled tolerance and equality. Although June is declared Pride Month only in the United States, gay pride is celebrated globally during this time!

Through a statement this past May, Heritage of Pride, the organizers of the NYC Pride Parade, announced the ban of correctional officers and law enforcement until 2025.There have been many mixed feelings about this declaration. Some believe that the participation of lesbian and gay officers inspires, while contrasting sentiments detail the possible threats many members may feel because afterall, the Stonewall riots were a retaliation against the police. Heritage of Pride intends to create a safer space for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC members during times “when violence against marginalized groups continues to escalate.” Many protestors find that the police presence is unnecessary as they are not protecting anyone regardless of their identity. In past protests, officers did cause harm to protestors leading to future hostility. While there are other Pride Marches that refuse law enforcement entirely, NYC Pride accepts the officers as individual activists only. The Center on Colfax followed suit, banning uniformed officers at the Denver Pride Parade as well. An officer of the LGBTQ+ community expressed understanding for each party, but it is a powerful statement seeing police officers expressing their sexuality openly. Author Richie Jackson believes a lack of police representation in the parade shows children that they cannot be a part of that occupation --- “We’re robbing them of possibility.” Law Enforcement is significant, but the refashioned parade provides a new perspective for the parade.

It’s important to make the people you love feel recognized. Celebrate June and self expression with that special someone, friends or family. What do you think?


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