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.”
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.”
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.”
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