“Police will not be allowed to participate in the 2021 Denver PrideFest parade or as exhibitors, the Center on Colfax confirmed Tuesday,” according to The Denver Post.
“This is in line with other cities around the country not allowing uniformed officers at their celebrations. New York City Pride banned police from all events until 2025. [emphasis added]
“‘When I first heard that the center had decided not to allow us to participate in pride, I was very disheartened and very disappointed,’ Lt. Chris Amsler of the Aurora Police Department said. ‘I had seen the news coverage that this had been occurring around the country. I really hoped that it wasn’t going to occur here in Denver.’
“Amsler is a gay man who is pictured above marching with his husband Manuel at PrideFest 2017. He cites what he feels is a strong relationship between police and the Center and the reaction he and his fellow officers have gotten at LGBTQ events in the past as reasons for his dismay…
“The Center, who hosts PrideFest, released the following statement regarding their decision:
The Center was founded 45 years ago in response to police violence and harassment of the LGBTQ community. The entire history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement is rooted in a history of opposing police harassment and violence aimed at our community. There are numerous examples of police violence going back beyond the famous Stonewall Riots of 1969. For all these decades, The Center has worked to address these issues and improve the relationship between the LGBTQ community and the police and we have made great strides. However, we cannot in good conscience, as an organization that speaks up for justice, look the other way when it comes to police violence aimed at the Black community–a history of violence that goes back even further in American history. While we value our relationships with law enforcement and want to continue to build a safer community for all Coloradans, we feel we must take a stand. We have decided not to allow police participation in the 2021 virtual pride parade or to allow law enforcement agencies to participate as exhibitors. We hope to facilitate future conversations about how we can reform policing in our community that will involve all members of our community and support new and just ways of keeping our communities safe.
“Denver police has a history of supporting the LGBTQ community, launching the Proud in Denver campaign in 2017 to help find safe spaces for the community.”
For more on this story, please go to The Denver Post.
Please share your thoughts on police being banned from the Denver PrideFest by emailing [email protected]. Do you agree or disagree with the police being barred from participating in LGBTQ events across the country?