Pride Toronto lifts ban on uniformed police marching in parade

Pride Toronto has lifted a ban on uniformed Toronto Police Service officers participating in the annual event.

Organizers says the two sides have made progress and they are seeing signs of a new understanding and active commitment by the force.

In a post on Facebook, Pride Toronto said they will allow TPS to submit an application to take part. “When we receive an application from the Toronto Police Service, we will review the application and provided they meet our Rules of Parade Entry, they will be granted a marching permit for the 2019 parade,” said organizers. “This decision is made in acknowledgement that Pride Toronto can only thrive through commitment to a diversity of efforts. The critical conversations that have been started will continue, fostered through the work of organizations in our community that we trust.”

The reaction to the decision has been mixed by online followers. Many called the decision short sighted and dollar-driven while others applaud the organization for including the TPS, which has many members of the LGBTQ2 community on the force.

During the 2016 Pride Parade, activists from the Black Lives Matter movement staged a sit-in along the parade route. The group demanded Pride organizers sign a commitment to ban police floats from the parade and to hire more black, indigenous and transgender workers.