SACRAMENTO — Staff members at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center are now calling for board members to revert back to their original decision to ban police in uniform at PRIDE events.
They are also asking the president of the board to step down after that decision was reversed.
The president of the board says he has no plans to resign and wants to shift the focus back to celebrating the LGBTQ community.
A flood of rainbow is already taking over midtown Sacramento, but some won’t be marching in this year’s PRIDE Parade as staff members with the LGBT Center plan to protest the event.
“Go to alternative events where trans, black, immigrant, brown, native voices are raised up above those with the most power,” said staff member Krystal Peak. “Many in our community are offended, triggered and even victimized by Sacramento Police Department staff.”
Board members had initially told the police department that they were not welcome to march in uniform. Saying the Stonewall riots 50 years ago were the foundation for PRIDE and the riots centered around rising up against police brutality.
But after meeting with the Sacramento Police Department, the Board President Carlos Marquez, changed his mind.
“We believe that we have secured a set of amendments that will help transform the department from within such that we can be more responsive to the folks within our community who are the most marginalized,” he said.
Police have agreed to add a community advisory committee, new officer training, community forums and a new liaison — all to focus specifically on LGBTQ issues.
However, staff members see this as a publicity stunt.
“They need to give us actions first because words mean slim to nothing without action,” staff member Rachel Henry said.
They’re now calling on the President of the Board to change this decision and step down.
“I have no plans to resign because I don’t think that it’s in service to all of the progress that we, as an organization, are achieving at this moment,” Marquez said.
The Lavender Library is hosting two alternative events to Celebrate the LGBTQ community that are not affiliated with PRIDE.
In a statement released Friday, over 20 staff members of the LGBT Center asked for those who support their stance to join them in “peaceful protest” by:
“Supporting the Lavender Library Queerness. Resistance. Celebration. on Saturday June 8th
Visit the The Museum: A Legacy of Stonewall now located at the LLACE for the weekend
Participate in the #StillHere #ReclaimPride50th Stonewall Riots Anniversary Action happening on Sunday June 9th
We also support the artists, performers, groups, organizations, and contingents pulling their attendance and participation from the SacPride weekend.”