Community Members Call for Festival Boycott over Auckland Pride’s Police Uniform Ban

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There is a growing backlash from Auckland’s LGBTQ+ community over Pride’s decision to ban police from marching in uniform at next year’s parade with some calling for a boycott of the entire festival.

There are growing numbers of LGBTQ+ community members now calling for a complete boycott of Auckland Pride 2019.

The calls are being made following the organisation’s decision to ban Police from marching in next year’s parade in uniform.

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Express understands that a number of community groups are considering pulling out of not only the parade but also any involvement with the festival.

Amongst those reconsidering their involvement are Bear New Zealand who say they are, “concerned and disappointed with the decision made by the Pride board.”

In a public post on Facebook, Bear New Zealand say that while they are aware of the mixed history between LGBT communities and the Police in New Zealand, “many of our members have experienced police homophobia and transphobia first hand. But we have also seen a persistent, substantial change in our relations with the police.”

“One of the main drivers of this has been the work LBGTQ+ constables themselves have done within the organisation. We do not agree it is fair or right to require any segment of our communities to have different, conditional terms put on their participation in the Pride Parade. LGBTQ+ police are equal members of our community.'”

Others have created Facebook pages and events calling for a boycott of the entire festival.

There is also a change.org petition calling for a reversal of the decision.

Yesterday express sent Auckland Pride the following questions and looks forward to receiving their response in the coming week.

– What does Auckland Pride hope the ban of Police marching in uniform will achieve in both the short and long-term?

– What does Auckland Pride feel has changed in the nine months since the Police were allowed to march in uniform at the 2018 Pride Parade?

– Pride has stated, “This decision has been made following a series of community feedback sessions, including the 2018 AGM and Community Hui series held in venues across Auckland.” These sessions also revealed a lot of feedback regarding the number of corporate floats in the parade. What measures is Pride taking to address these concerns?

– An express poll currently indicates community support for this decision stands at just 12%, a change.org petition has been started and prominent community members have called for a boycott of the entire festival – Are the board surprised by this level of backlash and will they reconsider their decision?

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