Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out on Monday against the recent decision by the organizers of the city's Pride celebrations to ban all law enforcement groups from taking part in next month's events, calling it “a mistake."
The ban by NYC Pride would last until at least 2025 and includes a request for the NYPD to stay a block away from the edge of all in-person events, including the march. It also bans the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League or GOAL from taking part in the annual celebration.
“First of all, we have to keep people safe and it’s been an incredibly safe, positive event and we have to be mindful of continuing that,” said de Blasio. “Second of all, I believe in inclusion, and we’re talking about, one of the issues is officers who are members of the LGBTQ community wanting to march and express their pride and their solidarity in the community and their desire to keep changing the NYPD and changing the city. That’s something I think should be embraced.”
NYC Pride said it will pay for the use of community-based security and first responders, while reducing NYPD presence at events.
The Gay Officers Action League released a statement on the decision Friday: "The Gay Officers Action League (“GOAL”) is disheartened by the decision to ban our group from participating in New York City Pride. Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride) has long been a valued partner of our organization and its abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful."
Many of this year's events will be held virtually, but there will be an in-person component.