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Police Officers back out of leading Philadelphia Pride

Bobby Rae June 1, 2016

LGBT police officers in Philadelphia have pulled out of leading the city’s pride parade, after a number of complaints.

Greater Philadelphia Gay Officers Action League had been asked to serve as Grand Marshals at the Philly Pride parade – due to take place on June 10.

However, shortly after organisers announced their decision to use members of the force to lead the parade, a petition was launched. It argued that pride was something that grew out of riots against the police and it was insulting to have them honoured in such a way.

In its petition against the police group becoming grand marshals of the event, protesters said the move would be “antithetical to the spirit and history of pride”.

They added: “This choice is not only grossly ironic. It also participates in a revision of history that erases queer and trans resistance to state violence as well as the ways in which the majority of queer and trans people have had to literally fight for survival in a system that has used every mechanism, including and particularly policing, to marginalize and harm us.”

The petition had gained 366 signatures at the time of writing.

To avoid controversy at the event, the gay officers group declined the opportunity, which members of Philly Pride said would “avoid tumult”.

Jo Mason, president of the group, said: “They felt that to honor the police would be disingenuous to original founders.”

He said the group would work to gain the honour.

“In the hopes that someday, they will see that we are committed to what is in our mission statement, which is to be the voice inside the local law enforcement community,” he added.

Pride events around the world have been getting into full swing, with the cast Sense8 getting cosy to each other in Sao Paulo.

More: Philadelphia, police, Pride, US

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