Police are refusing to take part in Auckland’s Pride parade because they are not allowed to wear their uniforms.
The Pride Festival Board asked officers to wear plain clothes instead of uniforms. The parade takes place on Saturday 16 February 2019.
However, officers have insisted that if they can’t wear their uniform with pride, then they won’t be marching.
A statement released by Auckland Pride on Friday (9 November), the Board says the decision comes as a result of ‘feedback sessions’.
New Zealand Police do not ‘meet the awareness of intersectionality’
They said: ‘These discussions indicated that whilst there is goodwill towards the NZ Police, as an institution they do not currently meet the degree of safety and awareness of intersectionality required by our rainbow communities.’
The board go on to say that police officers are welcome to attend in ‘plain or fancy clothes’.
They add: ‘The Auckland Pride Board is keen to work with the New Zealand Police to establish a stronger relationship, identifying what is needed to take both parties forward through the entire year, and providing a clear indication of meaningful systemic change within the NZ Police.’
Inspector Tracy Phillips, who is the coordinator of the New Zealand Police’s diversity liaison officer service, did not agree with the decision.
She told Stuff: ‘It’s really, really sad.
‘We’re really proud of what we do for a job, who we are and the work that we’ve done – so if we’re not welcome, we’re certainly not going to force our way in, and we’ve taken that message as we are not welcome.’
Auckland Pride and politics
In 2018, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the first leader of the country to march in Auckland’s Pride Parade.
She told the 30,000-strong crowd that she ‘walks beside’ the LGBTI community. She also stressed the need for the community to feel safe and supported.
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Source: Gay News