After being canceled the past two years by the coronavirus pandemic, San Francisco's beloved Pride Parade, seen here in 2018, will return June 25-26, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Nader Khouri)

San Francisco law enforcement officers and firefighters said Monday that they will not march in the city’s annual Pride Parade after Pride organizers said officers could not wear their uniforms in the parade.

The San Francisco Police Officers Pride Alliance and LGBTQ+ members of the San Francisco Sheriff’s office issued a joint statement in response to the San Francisco Pride Committee asking police officers to attend the parade without their uniforms.

LGBTQ+ firefighters with the San Francisco Fire Department also signed the statement and said they would not walk in the Pride Parade in solidarity with the city’s law enforcement officers.

The law enforcement officers and firefighters argued that Pride organizers, who voted in 2020 to ban officers in uniform after a summer of nationwide protests against police brutality, are effectively punishing them for the actions of other officers.

“The San Francisco Pride Committee has asked the LGBTQ+ peace officers to go back in the closet,” the law enforcement officers and firefighters said. “San Francisco and the San Francisco Pride Parade have always embraced radical inclusivity as one of our core values.”

The officers and firefighters also argued that Pride organizers would not take similar actions against other groups that regularly participate in Pride, such as the drag and kink communities.

“This committee would not order the leather community to wear polyester at the parade. This committee would not order the drag community to wear flannel,” they said. “But they have told us, peace officers, that if we wear our uniforms, we may not attend.”

SF Pride did not respond to a request for comment on the joint statement.

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Dorsey, one of two LGBTQ+ members of the city’s Board of Supervisors, said they would also not attend Pride or march in the parade in solidarity with law enforcement.

Dorsey, who was the San Francisco Police Department’s communications director before Breed appointed to the board earlier this month, called the policy “exclusionary.”

He also called on Pride organizers and law enforcement officials to find common ground in an effort to attract more LGBTQ+ officers to fill the city’s shortage of police officers.

“All San Franciscans share a compelling interest in solving our public safety staffing crisis in ways that attract the most diverse and qualified pool of candidates we can,” he said. “We can do that by showcasing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our police, fire and sheriff’s departments.

“But a policy of exclusion, which prohibits LGBTQ+ first responders and allies from marching in uniform, sends exactly the wrong message at a time when we can ill afford to do so,” Dorsey said.

San Francisco’s 52nd annual Pride celebration will be held at Civic Center Plaza from noon to 6 p.m. on June 25 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 26. The parade is expected to begin at 10:30 a.m. June 26.