After a pandemic halt, the San Francisco Pride Parade is coming back to the city in June.
Controversy surrounding police officers participating in the parade has already made a comeback, too.
San Francisco police officers said Monday they will not march in the city’s LGBTQ Pride parade this year, an act of protest after the event’s board of directors asked them not to wear uniforms, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
In a statement, the San Francisco Police Officers Pride alliance, LGBTQ+ members of the San Francisco Sheriff's Office and the San Francisco Fire Department said they would not participate in the parade under SF Pride's conditions.
According to the statement, SF Pride is asking members of the groups mentioned above to not wear their uniforms when participating in the festivities as to not intimidate participants who are in some way intimidated by the department.
"The San Francisco Pride Committee has asked the LGBTQ+ peace officers to go back in the closet," the statement read.
The San Francisco Police Officers Pride alliance said history of hostility against the LGBTQ+ community over the years is what made many officers join the force.
"While we may not be able to march with our communities, we will still be here, working to keep you safe because that is what we have sworn to do," the alliance said. "By bringing this to the public’s attention, we are hopeful that the SF Pride
committee will reverse its decision and allow the LGBTQ+ and ally members of
the San Francisco public safety agencies to proudly march in uniform with our
community in the San Francisco Pride Parade."
In response to the controversy, San Francisco Mayor London Breed released a statement saying if the Pride board does not reverse their decision regarding uniformed officers, she will not participate in the parade.
"I’ve made this very hard decision in order to support those members of the LGBTQ community who serve in uniform, in our Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, who have been told they cannot march in uniform, and in support of the members of the Fire Department who are refusing to march out of solidarity with their public safety partners," she said.
"Their presence in uniform serves as a message to others across the country that San Francisco values diversity and inclusion in our public safety departments, and in our city."
Police officers will be on duty patrolling the event for safety.