PSNI decision over Belfast Pride has set clock back on relations with LGBTQ+ community, says McAllister

The decision by the PSNI to not allow officers to participate in the Belfast Pride parade has set the clock back on years of work to improve relationships with the LGBTQ+ community, Alliance MLA Nuala McAllister has said.

Nuala McAllister Police LGBT

Ms McAllister was speaking after the PSNI confirmed its officers would not be allowed to wear uniform while participating in the forthcoming Belfast Pride parade at the end of the month.

The Policing Board representative said it was not only a bad move by police but a backwards one, given its previous participation in the parade.

“I have seen first hand the praise PSNI officers have received while participating in the Belfast Pride parade,” said North Belfast MLA Ms McAllister.

“It also sends out an important message of support for those in the LGBTQ+ sector, to see police officers parading in their uniform, especially at a time when members of that community are under more attacks than in many years.

“It is not only a bad move for the PSNI to take this decision but a backwards one, which has set the clock back on years of work to improve relationships with and gain the confidence of LGBTQ+ people in policing.

“To have participated in previous parades in uniform and then decide this year not to, gives credence to those opposed to LGBTQ+ rights and suggests police taking part in the parade in uniform was wrong, which is clearly not the case.

“I have spoken to PSNI leadership and expressed disappointment and frustration at this decision. There remains time before the Pride parade itself for the police to change their minds and not give in to those pushing an anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.”