New York Times prompts furious debate for saying Pride banning cops is ‘worrisome’

New York City Pride police

The New York Times has prompted furious debate after its editorial board published an op-ed slamming the ‘worrisome trend’ of banning police from Pride.

The New York Times editorial board is “a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values”, according to the publication.

On Tuesday (18 May), the board published an opinion piece titled: “A Misstep by the Organizers of Pride.”

In the piece, journalists quoted a queer NYPD sergeant named Ana Arboleda, who said she felt she was “being banished for celebrating a part of my identity” after New York City Pride organisers decided to ban uniformed police from the parade and associated events until 2025.

The move, intended to challenge law enforcement to “acknowledge their harm” to the LGBT+ community, was apparently “devastating” to Arboleda.

Alongside quotes for the NYPD officer, the New York Times editorial board declared the Pride organisers’ decision a “politicised response” to anti-LGBT+ violence, and “a poke in the eye at law enforcement more than a meaningful action to address police violence or foster a dialogue about law enforcement reform”.

Banning police from Pride marches, they said, was a “worrisome trend”, and they blamed the LGBT+ community for “deepening the divide”.

The op-ed received searing backlash on social media, with many pointing out that just 51 years ago Pride began as a protest in New York against police brutality.

One Twitter user wrote: “Does the editorial board who wrote this even include LGBTQIA+ people?

“There were ALWAYS people who didn’t want cops at Pride. There were always cops abusing and arresting people at Pride!

“Pride was started at Stonewall, where queers resisted police violence against them!”

Others slammed the New York Times for siding the LGBT+ community’s historical, and sometimes current, oppressors.

Renowned security expert and whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who was “attacked with riot gear and pepper spray” by police at a New York Pride march just last year, told the publication: “They attacked us – at pride – unprovoked – with riot gear and pepper spray – last summer – in Washington Square Park – I was there.”

One Twitter user wrote: “Once again, the oppressed are being criticised on their morals after decades of being on the defence against police enforcement.

“Ten years of legalised marriage does not immediately undo generations of LGBT+ discrimination in the United States.”

“By building the op-ed around the perspective of queer police and waving away the QPOC who say they are not comfortable with uniformed police presence, you’re doing a grave disservice to the LGBT+ community,” wrote another.

“Even worse, your insistence that Pride is about accepting everyone betrays a profound delusion about how progress is won.

“The LGBT+ community demanded our acceptance, fought for it. Pretending we have rights today because people suddenly remembered kindergarten manners erases that history.”