SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A two-day pride festival in downtown Sacramento kicked off Saturday with planned protests expected by some members of the LGBTQ community during Sunday’s parade.
An agreement reached between this year’s Pride organizers and Sacramento police means uniformed officers will be invited to march in the pride parade. That decision has also sparked a backlash.
Amidst the hugs at this year’s festival, there is also a heated debate over the role uniformed officers should play in Sacramento’s Pride Parade.
Breanna Martin represents a group called We Are Still Here: Alliance For Trans Rights.
“We really don’t want Pride to go as planned,” Martin said. “So what we have planned tomorrow, is we definitely just want to disrupt Pride, that’s our main vein.”
Martin is protesting the decision to allow uniformed police to march in the parade.
“For us, we really want to say, one, black lives matter, two, black trans lives matter, black and brown folks, they matter, they have a say in this,” Martin said.
Earlier this week, Sacramento Police Department Captain Pamela Seyffert spoke about the inclusiveness she has experienced within the department.
“We have a lot of LGBTQ officers, in every position up to, including two captains,” Seyffert said.
Sacramento Pride Organizers, who decided not to exclude uniformed officers from the parade, announced in a Facebook post the agreement with police would help inspire cultural change in law enforcement practices.
This year’s Pride events come on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, sparked by a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.
“We really want to let them know we’re against cops being at Pride,” Martin said.
The Sacramento Pride Parade is set to start at 11 a.m. Sunday at Southside Park and finish at the State Capitol.