Police banned from participating in NYC Pride events and march through 2025

Police will be banned from participating in NYC Pride events, including its signature LGBTQ march, until 2025, the organization announced Saturday. NYC Pride is also working to reduce the New York Police Department’s security and first responder presence at its events, the organization said. André Thomas, co-chair of Heritage of Pride, which produces NYC Pride, told ABC News it was a difficult decision that’s “not going to please everyone.” “We know many LGBT cops,” Thomas 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.” Typically, about 200 NYPD members would participate in NYC Pride’s march, held in the month of June, organizers said. That includes members of the Gay Officers Action League, or GOAL, a fraternal organization that was formed in 1982 to address the needs of LGBTQ officers. GOAL called Heritage of Pride’s decision “shameful,” and found its statement, which did not mention GOAL by name, “demoralizing” and “dehumanizing.” “Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large scale event to occur without police presence. So their response to activist pressure is to take the low road by preventing their fellow community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots,” GOAL President Brian Downey said in a statement.