SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The San Francisco Police Department issued a statement June 14 reassuring the public that LGBTQ Pride month will be safe, after a series of high-profile threatening incidents directed toward members of the community amid renewed prejudiced rhetoric.
Public Information Officer Kathryn Winters told KRON4 that “We are committed to ensuring that Pride month is a safe and celebratory time for our LGBTQ+ community and those who come from around the world to celebrate Pride in San Francisco.”
There are currently no known credible threats to San Francisco’s celebrations, which will be June 25 and 26.
Winters stated that the department “is aware of the incidents which occurred in Idaho and San Lorenzo.” As KRON4 reported Saturday, members of the extremist right-wing group the Proud Boys disturbed a drag queen story hour at a San Lorenzo library. The same day, in Idaho, 31 members of another extremist right-wing group called the Patriot Front were arrested for planning a riot at a Pride event in the Gem State.
In San Francisco itself, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who is gay, had to have his house searched by bomb-sniffing dogs Sunday after a bomb threat. Nearby, in the city’s predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Castro neighborhood, an LGBTQ youth nonprofit with after-school programs had to be evacuated twice due to bomb threats in recent weeks.
These attacks come amidst renewed rhetoric falsely conflating gay and transgender people with child molesters, particularly in the aftermath of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida, which prohibits some discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
Winters encouraged the public to still be vigilant, adding that “law enforcement relies on cooperation and assistance from the public to report criminal activity. If You See Something, Say Something! Call 911. Report suspicious activity or items.
“We are in constant communication with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of everyone in the City of San Francisco,” Winters stated. “Our department will be staffed to handle all calls for service citywide, and to provide adequate public safety staffing at pride events throughout Pride Month. Our officers will be vigilant for unlawful or unsafe activity and will respond as appropriate.”