PRIDE Parade Organizers Ban Police From Participating, So Firefighters Pull Out

Organizers of the Madison PRIDE parade have told LGBT police groups to stay home and refunded their participation fees.

Madison, WI - The organizers of a LGBT PRIDE parade in Wisconsin banned law enforcement agency organizations from participating in the march.

Ironically, the OutReach LGBT Community Center said that armed uniformed Madison Police Department officers would still work to provide security for the parade, according to WMTV-TV.

Police employees who want to march have to do it in plain clothes, or wear a special T-shirt and not carry their weapon, according to WSAU radio.

Michael Ruiz, president of the OutReach LGBT Community Center, confirmed that the police were uninvited to participate in the Aug. 19 parade in a statement.

Our community is facing complex, unprecedented times, where power is a fleeting commodity for our most vulnerable members, especially queer and transgender persons of color, Ruiz said, according to WMTV. The OutReach Board of Directors have unanimously decided to withdraw the Pride Parade applications from the Madison Police Department (MPD) Employee Resource Group (ERG)/University of Wisconsin Police Department (UWPD) ERG, and Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

These contingents will not march in the 2018 OutReach Pride Parade and we will be refunding all monies collected from the contingents, he said.

We recognize that not everyone will be happy with this decision, Ruiz continued. It is our hope that those who are hurt by this decision use that hurt for growth and to approach that hurt with humility, rather than retaliate or create further divisions between those with institutional power and those struggling to exist.

In show of support for the police department, the Madison Fire Department group that had registered for the parade announced they would not be participating.

In light of the disappointing decision by OutReach to rescind the invitation to the Madison Police Department to participate in this years Pride Parade, the Madison Fire Department, in solidarity with our women and men in blue, must respectfully and regretfully decline to participate in this years parade, the fire department wrote in a press release posted on the citys website.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin supported the fire departments decision to not participate in the rally, according to the statement.

Comments (41)
No. 1-25
ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Good for the firefighters to stand alongside the LEOs!

JBo
JBo

Let me see if I have this right...the Outreach people decided to not reach out to certain groups? Got it! Outreach is for some...but not all.

Sailor
Sailor

Do I have this right? Police who paid to participate and march to support in this event were uninvited and had their money refunded? However, on duty law enforcement were to provide event protection and security using their "institutional powers". Not following the perverse rationale here if I am understanding this correctly.

angeleyes
angeleyes

apparently it's ok to be there to protect them, ,just not be there to support them, at least not in uniform with big, bad guns (I thought they liked a man/woman in uniform). Makes sense to me...NOT. Good for our firefighters, way to stand shoulder to shoulder with all the other first responders.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

So their diversity isn't really diversity...good job morons. And kudos to the fire fighters for standing with their brothers and sisters in blue!