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Outreach Duped By Anti-Police Tactics–Excludes Madison Police, Dane County Sheriff From Gay Pride Parade

August 10, 2018

The news on Friday was most unsettling to hear.

Amid conversations nationwide about the presence of police officers at pride events, organizers of Madison’s upcoming pride parade are not allowing law enforcement agencies to participate.

In a statement Friday, the OutReach LGBT Community Center’s board of directors said they are withdrawing applications from the Madison Police Department, UW-Madison Police Department and Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney to march in the parade. 

“Our community is facing complex, unprecedented times, where power is a fleeting commodity for our most vulnerable members, especially queer and transgender persons of color,” OutReach Board President Michael Ruiz said. “In times like these it is crucial that we listen to those whose voices are not often heard in the mainstream.”

Before I venture further I think a disclaimer from this desk needs to be made.  I am a gay man in Madison and have attended just two of those parades back in the early 1990’s.  I think the energy put into the parade would be better used if marshaled into voter registration, and get-out-the vote efforts in November.

As to the news today I am most dismayed that yet another group–this time Outreach–has been rolled by those who can only be described as the far-out-in-left -field crowd.  That loud, but clueless group, love to spin their bile that law enforcement are made up of villains and enemies of people of color.  That manure which gets piled, and then re-piled, by these malcontents is simply outrageous.

But what is perplexing to those with common-sense in Dane County is how Outreach was so utterly duped?

How could Outreach be so easily played?

Who was tying them in knots over this and why could they not stand up and simply state matter-of-factly that Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, and Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney are two of the best supporters gay men and women in this county will find.  The departments of each are filled with professional and highly competent men and women.  No one on the Outreach Board should have been so brittle-brained to have fallen for the anti-police tactics of the radical left.   But a majority of the board did just that very thing.  

Outreach added to their stench by inviting those affiliated with law enforcement to still attend the parade in an off-duty capacity, but asked that they do so in plainclothes and not be armed.

For Outreach to make that statement is offensive as it plays into the absurd notion that a police officer is dangerous when dressed for duty.   Knowing truly outrageous elements have such a hold on Outreach is mighty concerning.  That fact will need to be held in mind when Outreach asks for money.  If they can not stand up to the most crazy anti-police elements than they really do not need more of our money for their causes.

The news today was simply baffling for the sane ones in this county.

  1. Solly permalink
    August 11, 2018 1:08 PM

    I sent the following message to Outreach at (and cc’d Chief Koval)

    Subject: Shame on you!

    I was disappointed to hear that the Madison Pride Parade denied participation by City, County and UW Police.

    What part of inclusion don’t you understand? We are fortunate to have progressive policing organizations here and should build upon these relationships.

    I found this quote from Madison Magazine extremely ironic:

    “Starkey said while he is pleased with the increase in LGBTQ organizations, he noted groups tend to stay “in their own silos” and do their own activities without interacting with other groups. OutReach’s goal with the pride parade is to bring separate parts of the community together.”
    And I guess that excludes LGBT police organizations. I found the statement by Outreach that they are “welcome” but not in uniform degrading and insulting. Yes, go, back in the closet. You can participate, but on the down-low.
    Do you hear yourselves?

  2. August 11, 2018 11:52 AM

    I wish to add to the above comment (who wished not be named) when the gay bar, Plan B, had a vandal strike was it not the MPD who responded and worked with the owners? Or did BLM come out and chant for a bit and cover the replacement costs to the large window?

  3. August 11, 2018 11:24 AM

    A reader wrote to my with the following comment and wanted to do so without his name added. I post it below.

    “A good post and tweet about the disappointing OutReach decision. I have not been happy with them in recent years. One year, I left the rally early due to their featuring M Adams. I always enjoyed seeing our MPD participants and often enjoyed talking with them.

  4. August 11, 2018 10:06 AM

    Totally 100% agree. I do not comprehend why the LGBT community would want to disrespect Chief Koval and Sheriff Mahoney, who have always had their backs. Very bad call.

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