Rantz: Seattle Pride bans police, will Mayor march and support policy?
Jun 18, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2023, 8:01 am
(Seattle Police Department via Facebook)
Seattle Pride is sticking with it’s anti-police policy first introduced in 2021. The organization will not allow LGBT officers to march in uniform during the parade. Will Mayor Bruce Harrell decide to embrace the anti-cop policy again? Or will he finally take a stand and tell the fringe activist group that insulting cops isn’t worth the pandering?
Members of the SPD have marched in the parade since 1994. But in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) rallies and riots, Seattle Pride banned cops from participating. Organizationally, its leadership embraced the anti-police messaging. It’s an ironic position given Seattle Pride says it’s “willing to do whatever it takes to bring us all together.”
Seattle Pride interim Executive Director Noah Wagoner told a local newspaper the policy is based on “the queer community’s long history of distrust of law enforcement, criminalization of LGBTQIA+ people, and police violence against marginalized groups — the genesis of the Pride movement.” There was apparently no distrust when police marched from 1994 through 2019.
Seattle Police Officers Guild speaks out against Seattle Pride police ban
The Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), through its president Officer Mike Solan, condemned the policy.
“SPOG members took an oath to serve our entire community equally and without discrimination. It’s a shame to see that the commitment to equality and inclusion doesn’t flow in both directions,” he said.
Seattle Pride’s Wagoner nor any representative responded to inquires this year. Its main corporate sponsor, Alaska Airlines, did not respond, either.
“Banning uniformed Seattle Police officers from Pride events is disgusting, bigoted, discriminatory and contradicts our community’s beautiful inclusive LGBTQ message. SPOG LGBTQ members serve our community with distinction and pride. They value inclusiveness and demand respect not only for proudly being LGBTQ but for serving our community as police officers. Anyone that believes in their banishment has no place in Seattle and does not believe in the inclusive LGBTQ message,” Solan continued in a statement.
Mayor Bruce Harrell is silent again
The Seattle Mayor traditionally participates in the march. Mayor Harrell marched last year, in spite of the ban, ignoring questions over the policy. His office did not respond to questions this year, either. And the mayor’s decision to again stand on the side of anti-police activists, if he chooses to march, will likely come with more consequences.
The Seattle Police Department has lost nearly 600 officers since BLM activism took over Seattle in 2020. The biggest reason officers say they leave is due to a lack of respect from city officials, which at one point pledged to defund the department by 50%. Council member Teresa Mosqueda, who is currently running for a vacant King County Council seat, defended a man who threatened to murder cops, arguing his poisonous rhetoric was justified. Council member Lisa Herbold, meanwhile, attempted to fire white officers from the force because of their skin color. And two council members up for re-election, Andrew Lewis and Dan Strauss, have repeatedly voted for policies to cut police staffing.
“To date, close to 600 police officers have left our agency,” Solan said in a statement. “The bigoted decisions banning uniformed officers from Pride events do not aid in stopping this mass exodus of cops. All we ask as SPOG members is some reasonable messaging of support from our elected officials and people in positions of power/influence. Police are fantastic human beings especially SPOG members.”
The separations continue this year. As of May 31, SPD only hired 37 this year, while losing 44 officers.
It would be shocking it Harrell spoke out given his political cowardice. He’d rather further sacrifice his relationship with the police than face criticisms from LGBT activists. Harrell tries to avoid political controversies as a wave to stave off Radical Left challengers for when he announces he’s running for re-election. But by siding with the fringes, again, he merely alienates reasonable Seattle voters who have indicated in recent polling that they’re sick of the far-left dictating the city’s direction. Right now, they own Seattle’s cowardly mayor.
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