SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – LGBTQ police and sheriff’s deputies are asking the board responsible for the San Francisco Pride parade to change its policy prohibiting them from marching in uniform when it meets June 8, two-and-a-half weeks before the festivities.

Police, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters announced their intention to boycott the parade May 23 unless the ban was lifted. They were quickly joined by Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who recently became the second gay man sitting on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors after serving as the San Francisco Police Department’s head of strategic communications.

In response the city’s three LGBTQ districts — the Transgender District, the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District and the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District — announced their intention to boycott city-run Pride festivities, such as the raising of the rainbow flag at City Hall yesterday.

The board of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee decided in 2020 to ban police and sheriff’s deputies from marching in the parade in their uniforms after allegations of excessive force were made by protesters against police during the 2019 parade. The protesters blocked the parade route in protest of corporate and police participation in the parade.

In a statement, the San Francisco Police Officer’s Pride Alliance (an affinity group of LGBTQ-identified members of the SFPD) criticized media coverage of their opting-out of the Pride parade.

“Although many maintain professional journalistic standards, some of the coverage fails to explore both sides of the issue,” a June 1 statement reads. “Your LGBTQ+ uniformed public servants, many of whom have taken an active part in the LGBTQ+ movement of the past fifty years, are part of the change and are part of this community. Coverage of this type embraces political expediency at the cost of the truth. In this case, the truth is the courage that it took for LGBTQ+ members to put on uniforms and change the system from within.”

The alliance stated allegations that they want to march in uniform to be paid overtime are false.

“LGBTQ+ officers march voluntarily and without compensation because we believe in our pride, even when we faced harassment from our co-workers and prejudice from certain community members,” the statement reads. “The SF Pride Committee and certain elected officials have claimed that we can leave our public safety careers as a career is a choice, and for that reason, we should not march. They are shaming us for the
courage that it took to fight from within.”

The Pride board did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.