Openly gay morning television presenter and LGBTIQ advocate Aziz Al-Sa’afin has joined the chorus of outrage over the Auckland Pride Board’s decision to ban police from marching in the parade in their uniforms and declared he will not be marching in next year’s pride march either.
Aziz has marched in the parade for the last five years as well as a part of many other aspects of the rainbow community including his involvement with Winter Pride NZ and as a judge for Mr Gay New Zealand.
Speaking on the AM Show this morning and in an opinion piece later Aziz has slammed the Auckland Pride board for the decision to ban police from marching in uniform.
“The board says, although there is goodwill towards the force, as an institution ‘they do not currently meet the degree of safety and awareness of intersectionality required by our rainbow communities’,” explained Aziz on Newshub.
“I say it’s bollocks and PR speak gone rogue.
“It disappoints me that a board I once believed represented my views, has gone against them.
“The board says some people had expressed concern, but “some” is not all.
“They do not speak for me. They do not speak for my friends. And, quite frankly, they do not speak for the entire LGBTQI community.”
Auckland Pride Gone Quiet
Community discussion has continued across the weekend and into Monday on social media and yet still little word from Auckland Pride as to whether their decision is being reconsidered.
A planned Facebook Live event for Sunday afternoon on the organisation’s page was non-existent and board members aren’t willing to discuss the situation publicly, preferring to let the community outrage continue online.
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The moment we stopped Queenstown. It’s a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life. What an honour to be onstage. It was so amazing to see so many different communities come together to sing the same song. @winterpridenz at its core ❤️ . . . . . #winterpridenz #travel #travelgram #pride #queenstown #party #newzealand #winter #love #fun #dance
Aziz was joined by his on-air colleagues this morning in condemning the move which will see Aziz and many others not attend or march next year.
“For decades we have fought for equality and the right to be included. Now we are ourselves inciting a gross use of power to leave out an entire community,” Aziz continued.
“What’s worse is after the decision was made the force reached out to the board and asked what they could do better as an institution.
“They got no reply.
“So the police have now made the decision not to march. And it’s with a heavy heart that I make that same decision.
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“Like many, my values and that of Auckland Pride are no longer aligned.
“We have come such a long way, and now we are taking such a giant step backwards.”
Gay Nation has also reached out to senior government members and Auckland Pride sponsors for comment with none forthcoming at the time of publication.