The decision to ban uniformed police from marching in Auckland’s Pride Parade has created controversy in the rainbow community as well as causing some organisations to pull funding. As reported by Stuff.co.nz
However, Auckland Pride isn’t the first to enforce such a ban, with many others around the world also implementing similar ones.
The Auckland Pride Board made the decision to ban police in uniform from the February 16, 2019 event after “extensive community consultation”.
“During that time we heard numerous stories of transphobia, racism, misogyny and homophobia directed at members. The board has a responsibility to listen to all of our community, and to pay attention to marginalised voices who have distanced themselves from Pride due to police involvement.”
In 2017, Pride Toronto banned police floats and stalls from all parades during a controversial vote in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The issue was highlighted when the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade Black Lives Matter staged a sit-in and stopped the march until organisers agreed to its list of conditions.
They argued allowing uniformed officers to participate could discourage marginalized communities from attending.
Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and London Pride Parade’s also made the decision to ban uniformed police.
Officers in Halifax, Canada, voluntarily made the decision not to march in the parade after the other uniform bans.
In October this year, Pride Toronto announced police would be allowed at the 2019 parade if they made an application and obeyed parade entry rules.
Police officers in Minneapolis were not allowed to march in uniform in the 2018 Twin Cities Pride parade.
After concerns were raised by some of the LGBTQIA+ community, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo asked officers to wear civilian attire instead.
Officers were allowed to wear an MPD rainbow t-shirt with a badge design on the front if they chose to.
A uniform ban for police was also implemented in Madison, Wisconsin’s Pride Parade.
The decision caused local firefighters to boycott it in solidarity with the police force, and a campaign urging sponsors to pull funding from the parade was also started.
Durham County in North Carolina also barred police uniforms from its 2018 Parade.
Other groups banned at Pride
In 2015, Pride of London excluded the UK Independence Party (Ukip) to “ensure safety” and protect other participants.
The move came after a petition was launched on change.org urging organisers to ban Ukip from the event because of the party’s alleged discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community.
Pride Sheffield in the United Kingdom, found itself under fire after warning LGBTQIA+ activists against carrying “controversial” political signs.
The Sheffield Pride Committee ended up resigning after stating pride was “a march of celebration not protest”.
A Pride event in Glasgow, Scotland, banned drag queens from performing after members of the committee feared it could offend trans people.
The decision received a largely negative response, prompting the establishment of a Boycott Glasgow Free Pride Facebook page.
A special general meeting will be held in early December to decide the future of Auckland’s Pride board after four Pride members expressed a “lack of confidence” over the police uniform ban.
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