Pride and QPS responses re police not marching in uniform


brisbane pride march police marching in uniform
Brisbane Pride March 2016

Brisbane Pride has requested that Police officers not march in uniform at this year’s Pride Rally and March. QNews asked Brisbane Pride and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) about the decision.

The Brisbane Pride committee said in a statement that they intended the request on uniforms “as an invitation to the Queensland Police Service to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward.

“Brisbane Pride is an organisation that is continually open to dialogue. Our aim is to hopefully find a way for officers to once again march in uniform. But we as a community need to see progress and accountability from the Queensland Police Service.”

Brisbane Pride

The committee emphasised their support for the continued inclusion of the QPS in the annual Rally and March.

“We support police inclusion because we believe that engagement is the best way to make meaningful change. We also want to support serving LGBTIQ+ officers.”

However, the committee said they requested that police not wear uniforms in this year’s Rally and March.

“There exists a long-term distrust of the Queensland Police Service amongst members of our community.”

The committee attributed the distrust to historical homophobia, abuse, police brutality and unsafe behaviours.

“Despite an apology from the Queensland Parliament for historic wrongs, the Queensland Police Service is yet to acknowledge or apologise for these past acts.

“We also remain concerned about what we perceive as escalating levels of homophobia.”

The committee referred to an investigation earlier this year into sexist, racist and homophobic social media posts made by serving police officers.

“This incident remains of great concern to us and the broader LGBTIQ+ community, not only in Brisbane but throughout Queensland.”

Queensland Police Service

A QPS spokesperson told QNews that the service received a request last month that police officers not march in uniform. The spokesperson said that Commissioner Katarina Carroll then met with representatives of Brisbane Pride. The spokesperson described the discussions as positive and productive.

However, the statement went on to say that following the discussions, the QPS will not organise a uniformed contingent to march in this year’s pride event.

“Police officers are still welcome to partake in the march but not in uniform as in previous years. The QPS will provide all necessary operational support to ensure the ongoing success of the event.

“The QPS has a long history of supporting the Brisbane Pride Festival, with uniformed officers marching for the first time on September 19, 2015.”

What now?

Brisbane Pride agreed that the meeting with the Commissioner was positive and productive. The committee said they looked forward to working with the Commissioner and the QPS to progress change.

“Brisbane Pride remains committed to updating the community on these issues and to reviewing our decision on uniforms in time for the 2022 Rally and March.”

Read the full statement from Brisbane Pride.

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19 Comments

  1. Kathryn
    25 September 2021
    Reply

    The exclusionary nature of this is why I will not be marching at pride. There are LGBTIQ police officers. Why should they have to hide who they are in their career after hiding who they are for a lot of their lives.
    It seems Pride has been once again taken over by a bunch of social warriors with their own axes to grind and our community is worse off for it.

    • Lily
      26 September 2021
      Reply

      The queer cops can come as private citizens… we don’t all advertise our jobs while at pride. This isn’t exclusionary, it’s asking the police to acknowledge their role in discrimination toward the queer community. This is a social issue so I’m surprised you expected no social critique at Pride?

  2. Lloyd Jenkins
    25 September 2021
    Reply

    “The committee attributed the distrust to *historical* homophobia, abuse, police brutality and unsafe behaviours.”

    The abuse is current and on-going. Ask any trans woman where she’s thrown into prison. Ask any queer person who faced a hate crime outside of their home how this boys’ club responds. It’s not historical. It’s now.

    When queer talking heads dismiss these perspectives, they continue the exclusion and oppression of the marginalised in our communities. You’re letting us down.

  3. Annie
    25 September 2021
    Reply

    The whole thing is a step backwards for both parties here, this dispels the whole point of inclusion. And does not recognise those LBGTIQ members of the QPS which look forward to coming to these events where they have supported the community as a whole and the LBGTIQ too. Very disappointed to all parties here and separates those who protect us even more so.

  4. Janelle Fawkes
    26 September 2021
    Reply

    Great to see the Pride committee recognising that many members of the LGBTIQ communities in QLD still experience harassment, discrimination, vilification and in some cases violence at the hands of police.
    Sex workers who are also LGBTIQ are still experiencing heavy police targeting in QLD and until sex work is fully decriminalised and changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act cover sex workers that is unlikely to change.

    • 26 September 2021
      Reply

      Janelle the ADA(Q) does cover sex workers under the attribute of lawful sexual activity.

  5. Kevin
    26 September 2021
    Reply

    Pride is not just a party or celebration . It’s roots are around protesting and marching for a better , safer , fairer and equal society. A lace where LGBTIQ people can live free of stigma and homophobia . The police have and continue to treat LGBTIQ people with violence and judgement. They need to speak with our community leaders to improve their awareness and commitment to equality

  6. James
    26 September 2021
    Reply

    A step backwards. The officers marching in pride are the very people who have worked from within the police to create change. Now their own community has turned their back on them. I agree that there is a place for a formal apology, but asking the police not to March in uniform one month out from the event was not the time. It’s’s a formal dialogue and conversation that should have stated this time last year. Pride should be a place to celebrate these lgbtiq+ members of the police force who are helping build stronger connections between the force and our community.

  7. Adam Meyer
    26 September 2021
    Reply

    It is a stupid, ignorant decision. It is not going to make the QPS apologise, there are other ways to do this if that is the main goal of this. It is decisive in the extreme. People look forward to seeing the QPS march in uniform and they always get the loudest cheers. Also, Pride’s statement in part reads, “But we as a community need to see progress and accountability from the Queensland Police Service.” As a community? I and my GLBTI friends were not consulted!

    I hope Brisbane Pride reverses this decision before the parade.

    • Joy
      1 October 2021
      Reply

      I absolutely do not look forward to cops in pride. Also just take an actual look at the reaction to being asked to march as lgbtqi+ people rather than march as Cops™️ and really think about acting as if that is oppression is appropriate at a march that is there to erase (actual) oppression.

  8. Alfieboi
    26 September 2021
    Reply

    So over people wanting Equality and then making their own groups to exclude others from being equal! This is outrageous and not who we are! Nor is it what we stand for! It’s a no show to Pride for me when I would feel ashamed to attend not Proud!

  9. chris noy
    27 September 2021
    Reply

    a step backwards
    so how many in the committee were members of ACTUP how many demonstrated how many fought for equality..i did and im saddened by this move.why did we bother I support QPS marching in uniform

  10. Dr Wendell Rosevear
    28 September 2021
    Reply

    To Punish the Good for the Actions of the Bad is unfair. Many LGBTI Police took great risk to produce “It Gets Better” youtube campaign to produce Change and Respect by telling their stories and I was part of it. You can’t extract an Apology by Manipulation, it is meaningless as it can only be given. It is healing for past victims to see the Change for the better. To respond with Non-acceptance for Past Non-acceptance, means we are no better than the perpetrators. To shut down Pride Website when discussion was happening is to silence freedom of speech and undemocratic……We need to stick to Equality, Respect, Dialogue and Freedom of Speech if we want Safe outcomes for all.

    • Not a Troll and don't want to give my name in fear of getting hammered
      29 September 2021
      Reply

      Dr Wendell,

      I don’t believe they are punishing their good action and have only requested the off duty police to not march in uniform. QPS (not all) has a culture of unconscious bias towards minority groups that are simply not being addressed (Especially in the rural areas). I read QNews who published that the QPS had or has a private Facebook page littered with racism and homophobia. I for one stand by Pride courageous decision to start the conversation and begin the healing.

  11. Murray
    28 September 2021
    Reply

    The drive for marriage equality show us that building bridges is more effective than division and shame as tools to make progress happen. A short sighted and damaging decision from the ‘Pride’ organisation.

  12. Doug Pollard
    30 September 2021
    Reply

    Nobody should be marching in the uniform of a non-LGBTI organisation, whether it be police, armed forces, QANTAS, Coles, Commbank, government agencies, non-LGBTI charities or whoever.
    The only floats and groups should be LGBTI owned and run charities, organisations and businesses, SPONSORED AND SUPPORTED by non- LGBTI organisations, corporates etc, e.g. LGBTI Homeless Project (proudly financed and supported by ANZ) etc
    That way EVERYONE has a presence, but LGBTI have full control and primacy at all times. Sponsors and supporters come second, not first.

    • Joy
      1 October 2021
      Reply

      100%

  13. Peter Turner
    1 October 2021
    Reply

    As a community we need ALL the allies we can get. I do NOT support the actions of the committee in this instance. Anyone, with the blessing of their leaders, should be able to march in their uniforms. This is a personal affront to those officers who have been working hard from within the force to effect positive change.

    I know that there is a long way to go to address those Police who do the wrong thing. That will need a lot of work but that is a separate issue. Seeing some proud officers marching in uniform also sends a loud and strong message to the rest of the force.

    • Joy
      1 October 2021
      Reply

      Do allies make homophobic Facebook posts on the regular? Or is that maybe the behaviour of a group of people that may benefit from exploiting Pride for good PR

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