Minnesota’s Twin Cities Pride Parade Relents, Allows Openly Gay Police Chief to March

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 4:50 pm, June 24, 2017

After massive backlash from the public, Twin Cities Pride in Minnesota has reversed its earlier ban on police participation in Sunday’s parade.

Earlier this week, parade organizers announced they would keep police participation to the minimum required by city ordinances to preserve safety. The decision was made to “respect the pain the community is feeling right now,” after a jury acquitted the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile.

But the announcement proved controversial. Minneapolis’s first openly gay police chief, Janeé Harteau, wrote about how she was “saddened to be shut out,” while several other gay officers spoke of how the decision was exclusionary, “hateful and hurtful.”

Police chief Janeé Harteau(Minneapolis Police Department)

Just two days before the parade, Twin Cities Pride reversed course, deciding it would invite police to march under the unity flag or other LGBT flags. Organizers apologized to the police “for neglecting to communicate and consider input for other possible alternatives prior to releasing the details of this decision.”

In a statement Friday, the executive director of Twin Cities Pride said: “We recognize this decision has made members of the law enforcement community feel excluded, which is contrary to our mission to foster inclusion.”

Hearteau said she plans to attend with her family.

Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.