New York City Heart Of Pride’s (HOP’s) membership voted, last week, to overturn a decision by the group’s board of directors to ban officers of the New York Police Department’s Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) from marching in this year’s Pride Parade, but HOP’s board will not give in, doubling down on their decision to reduce the number of law enforcement at the annual LGBTQ event.
“Less than a week after Heritage of Pride (HOP), or NYC Pride, announced a ban on police contingents through 2025, the organization’s members voted on May 20 to allow the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) to march armed and in uniform — but HOP’s executive board subsequently stepped in and set their own policy,” Gay City News reported last week.
The group’s board now says that the only way they will consider allowing GOAL into the parade is if, in the future, they pledge to march out of uniform, because armed and uniformed officers make parade attendees feel “unsafe.”
“In the end, HOP’s executive board voted to maintain the ban on GOAL members marching armed and in uniform, though the organization is ‘willing to discuss the possibility of GOAL as a contingent marching out of uniform,'” the LGBTQ news outlet said.
HOP’s announced, earlier in May, that they planned to eliminate law enforcement’s presence at the annual Pride Parade, banning the GOAL from marching in the parade and pledging to reduce the number of uniformed officers at the event — one of the city’s largest annual parades.
“Police will be banned from participating in NYC Pride events, including its signature LGBTQ march, until 2025, the organization announced Saturday,” The Daily Wire noted in May, citing an ABC News report. “NYC Pride is also working to reduce the New York Police Department’s security and first responder presence at its events,” the organization said.
“We know many LGBT cops,” Andre Thomas of Heritage of Pride said. “But what the institution represents sometimes to a person of color or trans person is violence, and that doesn’t make you feel safe. So that’s the perspective we’re coming from. And it’s a difficult place to be. But we know that’s what our community expects of us at this time.”
HOP’s decision banned “corrections and law enforcement exhibitors at NYC Pride events until 2025. At that time their participation will be reviewed by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board. In the meantime, NYC Pride will transition to providing increased community-based security and first responders, while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.”
After the group’s membership voted to overrule the board’s decision, the board doubled down, effectively lecturing HOP’s members about intersectionality.
“The NYPD, and policing across America, is fundamentally flawed,” the board noted. “These are institutions that started as slave patrols, and continue to oppress Black, Brown, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQ individuals and individuals who stand at the intersections of these identities.”
“It fell under our purview to do so, as elected representatives of this organization, and we firmly believe that this decision is in the best interest of our community,” the executive board added.