- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2017

The annual Calgary Pride parade in Calgary, Canada, has banned participating police officers from wearing their uniforms or carrying firearms as a way of demonstrating their “allyship.”

Calgary Pride, a nonprofit organization promoting LGBT equality, said this year’s parade on Sept. 3 would be secured by the Calgary Police Service as usual, but that officers participating in the actual parade would not be able to associate with “any forms of institutional representation.”

“We acknowledge the historical oppression and institutionalized racism faced by queer/trans people of colour and Indigenous persons, and the potentially negative association with weapons, uniforms, and other symbols of law enforcement,” the organization said in a press release Wednesday.

Officers will participate “without uniforms, firearms, vehicles, or any forms of institutional representation, such as floats etc.,” the release stated.

Police Chief Roger Chaffin and other top officials have also agreed to “engage in formal Diversity and Inclusion training, prior to displaying institutional representation within future Calgary Pride activities,” the release said.

In a statement, VOICES — Calgary’s Coalition of People of Colour — said the decision was reached at a meeting between Calgary Pride, Voices, and Calgary Police, represented by Chief Chaffin himself.

Chief Chaffin told CBC that he was “disappointed” in the decision but hopeful that the relationship between the LGBT community in local law enforcement could continue to improve.

“We are obviously disappointed with the decision that police will not be allowed to march in uniform, but we are not going to allow it to undo decades of progress between law enforcement and the LGBTQ community in Calgary,” he said. “We have a far better relationship with the LGBTQ community now than we did even 10 years ago, and we want to keep that forward momentum.”

The decisions follows similar moves taken this year at LGBT pride events in Toronto and Vancouver, where officers were asked to participate in plain clothes, CBC reported.

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