S.F. police won’t march in this year’s Pride parade. Here’s why

San Francisco police officers said Monday they will not march in the city’s LGBTQ Pride parade this year, an act of protest after the event’s board of directors asked them not to wear uniforms.

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Dorsey also said Monday they will not march in the parade unless the event’s organizers reverse their position.

The clash between police and Pride organizers followed a year and half of negotiations, in which both sides aimed to find common ground after a tense confrontation between police and demonstrators during the last parade in 2019. These talks grew complicated with the 2020 murder of George Floyd, and ongoing introspection among members of Pride who debated how to honor the event’s legacy of activism.

Originally, the board voted to bar law enforcement uniforms in 2020, not knowing that the arrival of the novel coronavirus pandemic would thwart the parade in 2021. They voted to reinstate the decision this year, following on the heels of Pride parades in other cities — including New York City and Toronto — that have enacted similar, equally controversial bans.

With a month remaining until San Francisco’s parade on June 26, friction is escalating and officers are urging Pride’s board to reverse course.

“We, the police officers of the San Francisco Police Officers Pride Alliance, stand firm in our decision that we will not be pushed back into the closet,” representatives of LGBTQ officers wrote in a joint statement with the San Francisco Fire Department and LGBTQ members of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, who also declined to march out of solidarity.

Source: SF Chronicle and Bay Area Reporter