Pride Toronto and the Toronto Police have a well-documented history of being pretty divided against each other. Gay people were targeted by the police when being homosexual was a criminal and recently the community says their voices were not heard when it came to the murders of people living in the gay village of Toronto.
Toronto Police had been hoping to walk in this years pride parade but the organizers pushed back against that requesting last night that the police withdraw their application to march in the parade.
The statement said that “Despite the fact that many of us felt and voiced our concerns, we were dismissed. This has severely shaken out community’s already often tenuous trust in the city’s law enforcement. We feel more vulnerable than ever.”
Well now the Toronto police have decided to do just that and will be withdrawing their application to march in the parade this year.
Police chief Mark Saunders made the announcement this afternoon, he hopes that by withdrawing the application it shows that he is listening to the concerns voiced by the community.
“Much more work is needed, of course. But hopefully this moment moves us forward in an important way,” Saunders said.
Saunders also says that he hopes to see police officers in the parade in the years ahead as the police force works on making a stronger relationship with the pride community over the next year.
“The Toronto Police Service will work hard over the course of the next year toward that end and, ideally, the 2019 Pride Parade will offer an opportunity to demonstrate that progression.”
Some see the move as good.
Marching for one day in the Pride Parade doesn't magically fix years of systemic discrimination and the appalling investigation of a serial killer who preyed on the community. #PrideTO https://t.co/1cnvZhEc00— Heather (@HMeegs) April 3, 2018
While others question whether the two organizations shouldn't be working together to find a solution to their problems.
How does the gay community propose to mend relations with police by not letting to them participate ? #PrideTO is on a slippery slope. What do they say to officers who may be gay or lesbian ? Too bad ? #TOpoli #Pride2018 #onpoli #pnpcbc— Felix The Cat (@FelixTse2018) April 3, 2018
Whatever your opinion may be on the issue, the police will not be at pride this year.