ST. LOUIS – A huge announcement from the city and Pride St. Louis just 11 days away from the 2019 St. Louis Pride Parade – uniformed police officers will be allowed to participate in this year's parade. This comes just 10 days after Pride St. Louis asked police to not take part in the annual gay rights parade.
Last year, 300,000 people walked down the streets of St. Louis and participated in the St. Louis Pride Parade and this year Mayor Lyda Krewson wants all members of the LGBTQ community to feel welcomed and safe.
"A few weeks ago, the Pride St. Louis board announced that SLMPD officers, uniformed officers, would not be allowed in this year's Pride Parade, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. I've been in ongoing conversations with Pride and have expressed my view that exclusion of our police or of anyone is not in the spirit of our city," Mayor Krewson said.
In a joint news conference with Mayor Krewson, St. Louis Pride Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jordan Braxton announced uniformed police officers would be allowed to participate.
"After months, weeks of lengthy discussions and debate and listening to our community, we will welcome LGBTQ police and allies to walk in uniform in the 2019 Pride Fest Parade June 30th downtown at Soldiers Memorial," Braxton said.
This is the 40th anniversary of the St. Louis Pride Parade.
Judge Jimmie Edwards, the city’s public safety director, said he agrees with the decision and stands behind police.
"Many of our police officers in the city of St. Louis will fall into the category of LGBTQ community and transgender. We support our police officers and I am elated they will have an opportunity to participate in uniform," said Judge Edwards.
Krewson called it an exciting announcement that is in the best interest of St. Louis.
"Police are friends, relatives, allies, and members of the LGBTQ community. Thankfully, the world has made a lot of progress in the last 50 years, and today we look forward to the future. Continuing to include police in the parade helps to build trust, helps to build respect, helps to earn understand, and helps to build inclusion," said Mayor Krewson.
The St. Louis Pride Parade is June 30 at noon.