San Francisco Mayor London Breed said that she will not participate in the upcoming Pride Parade due to a ban against police wearing their uniforms while participating.
“I’ve made this very hard decision in order to support those members of the LGBTQ community who serve in uniform, in our Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, who have been told they cannot march in uniform and in support of the members of the Fire Department who are refusing to march out of solidarity with their public safety partners,” Breed said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In a joint statement, the San Francisco Police Officers Pride alliance, the LGBTQ+ members of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, and San Francisco Fire Department decried the police uniform ban and noted that they plan to skip the parade.
“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. We, the LGBTQ+ deputies of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, will not hide from anyone who we are. In solidarity with their fellow first responders, the San Francisco Fire Department is standing with our law enforcement partners. Barring a reversal from SF Pride, SFFD will not be marching in the San Francisco Pride Parade,” the statement declared.
“The San Francisco Fire Department, Police Department, and Sheriff’s Department stand with their LGBTQ+ employees and support their decision to not march in order to take a stand against the discriminatory actions of the board of the SF Pride committee,” the statement said.
San Francisco Pride interim executive director Suzanne Ford said that members of law enforcement may don other garments, like a shirt emblazoned with an SFPD logo, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“We didn’t ask anyone to hide, or not to denote who they were,” Ford said. “We just did not want full uniforms, out of harm reduction to marginalized members of our community.”
“We’ve asked for this gesture, (which) would say to some members of our community who don’t feel safe around police, that the police heard our concerns, and responded in a positive way,” Ford said, according to the Chronicle.