Bil Browning

Horrible Media: Indy Cops Will March In Pride Parade

Filed By Bil Browning | June 09, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Media
Tags: FOX 59, Indianapolis Police Department, IPD, pride parade

Thumbnail image for Indianapolis Police DepartmentOh, Indiana. It's always one step forward and one step back...

The good news: The Indianapolis Police Department will officially participate in this year's pride parade. The event this weekend is one of the largest pride celebrations in the midwest.

The bad news: Indianapolis media just can't resist sensationalism and went running to the religious right in a desperate attempt to drum up controversy.

FOX 59's subheading for their report is, "They will show their support for the GLBT community by marching in the Gay Pride Parade and it's making some Hoosiers uneasy."

Really? Because I'm thinking most Hoosiers could give a shit less. It might give the hacks who earn their keep by denigrating the LGBT community a serious case of the vapors, but the average Indy resident doesn't care about cops marching in a parade. That doesn't stop the lazy reporter who lets the Indiana Family Institute's Ryan McCann slide on claiming the "majority" of people would be "shocked" to "see the activities that goes on there," and that officers "don't sign up for gay pride parades and all that entails with men in police uniforms being howled at by homosexuals."

The article even uses the phrase "alternative lifestyle." What the fuck is this? The 1980's? Video is after the jump.


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A local gay bar/restaurant has a popular special for supper on Monday nights, and I go there sometimes when I happen to be in town. It's not unusual to see a table of policemen taking their dinner break there. I've never asked them if they are all gay, but I assume at least some are, because the establishment 's appeal is almost entirely LGBT. (And if some of the openly LGBT policemen bring their straight co-workers for a nice meal, that's even better!)

I'm so amazed and thankful that I have lived to see the day when an Indiana city has openly LGBT police officers. While most of the officers seen patroling the event are there as a duty assignment, I doubt that the officers in the parade itself are being ordered against their will to actually march -- I assume they are there because they have asked for permission from their command to do so. For this reason, I certainly encourage everyone who supports the Indy Pride Parade to also support these police officers.

As Bil points out, this attempt to manufacture a controversy absolutely sucks, and the TV station deserves to be peltered with complaints. Isn't it convenient that FOX-59 fails to mention that the IMPD hires and promotes under the guidance of a city-wide nondiscrimination policy. And as for the Indy Pride "activities," the parade and festival operate year after year under a city-issued permit, no doubt a permit which would get yanked if anything illegal was going on. (I won't even dignify the comments from IFI with a response -- except to say that I might not approve of some activities that go on at IFI events, either!)

And let's look forward to future years: It won't be long before we may have openly gay contingents from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and National Guard ... and we'll see if FOX-59 will go ask the IFI if they "support our troops -- all of them!"

First of all I'm glad the police are being allowed to march in the pride. As for the man in the video: He need to realize the LGBT community actually pays more tax dollars than he does so if he really wants to use that argument we have more say in what should occur.

The media is what it is here Bil. You should know that.

Yes, T, our media is what it is ... but that does not mean that we cannot hope to find them educate-able, and if they are, then it is our responsibility to do it, simply because no one else will.

Also, if FOX-59 went to an unrelated group such as IFI for a comment, then they should have gone to Indy Pride or some other favorable group for a rebuttal. The police spokeswoman is restrained by the parameters of her job function from giving opinions and personal viewpoints, while the IFI is not.

Finally, the expression "alternative lifestyle" is laden with opinionative connotation, and does not belong in an "objective" item of news coverage.

A.J. I do have hope that they will eventually change.

Allison Sinclair Allison Sinclair | June 9, 2011 4:31 PM

Perhaps, the religious right is concerned about the Indianapolis police wearing RENO 911 Lt. Jim Dangle uniforms

pogden297 | June 9, 2011 10:59 PM

I hate to be the contrarian here but I will be.

The gay pride parade will inevitably involve political issues, as well it should. Things like same sex marriage, sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws are important to the GLBT community and they will be promoted at the rally. IMPD officers getting involved in the rally wearing uniforms, driving police cars, getting paid tax dollars, impermissibly signifies support for these policies, i.e. a politial position.

You think that's a good thing because you like those policies. But involving police in political activities is a mighty slippery slope.

What if the Indiana Family Institute decided to have a parade promoting "family values." Would you want IMPD officers walking in uniform or in their squad cars, being aid at taxpayer expense participating in the parade? I"m sure the answer would be a resounding "no." And rightfully so.

But the reason has to be, not because you don't like IFI's policies, but because police officers shouldn't be wearing police uniforms promoting political positions on the taxpayer's dime. Basing your support or opposition of police involvement in political events on whether you agree or disagree with the politics involved, is a dangerous road to go down.

Let's just keep our uniformed police officers out of all political events. Now if they want to particpate on their own time, wearing civilian clothes, more power to them.

Sorry, podgen297, but saying that LGBT officers should not participate because of a "political slippery slope" is like suggesting that black policemen/women should not participate in Indiana Black Expo for exactly the same reason -- I mean, it's so controversial to support racial minorities participating in the American economy on equal footing with white businessmen.

With respect to the Indiana Family Institute guy using the term "alternative lifestyle," one would expect otherwise? (Although it seems to me that being a religious bigot is itself an "alternative lifestyle.")

Also to note that despite being a Fox station, the piece did NOT show the usual type of "red meat" clips selected to horrify the easily-swooned. AND the clip did end by pointing out the when and where the parade would be taking place.

Yes, I would expect a politically active homophobe such as the IFI spokesman to use "alternative lifestyle" because that term is part of their spin arsenal -- what I object to is the reporter using it as if it were a neutral term that is free of spin.

The instance in this video admittedly falls into a grey area -- the term is used by the reporter herself, while she is paraphrasing a quote from the IFI spokesman, but she doesn't label it as a potential spin term by couching it in a disclaimer, such as "what he calls an 'alternative lifestyle'" or "so-called 'alternative lifestyle'". Her carelessness at repeating the spin without labeling it as such is a bit troubling.

Allison Sinclair Allison Sinclair | June 10, 2011 10:31 AM

Pogden, it is not a slippery slope for Police to be in attendence. Just to give a good example, here in the City of Phoenix our Phoenix Police Department is a equal opportunity employer. We have many gay and lesbian police officers serving on the force and we also have a undercover officer who is the liason between the PD and the LGBT Community. Every time that we have Pride events of any sort the Phoenix PD is there. And to make matters even better is that they assign all the Gay and Lesbian officers to the events which gives it a even more comfortable atmosphere whereas they are familiar with our Community. Not only that it also gives them the opportunity to share time at the Event with their partners even while they are on duty. Don't forget that the larger Pride events pay the municipalities for safety and protection at these events. It is a positive rather than a negative than you state.

Oh yes! A slippery slope. How dare Gay police not wanting to be invisible. How dare they think: "Silence Equals Death!" How dare that they might want to wear their cop uniforms to a PRIDE parade. It will slide and slip until the very foundations of our society and culture are jeopardized. A threat to traditional, family/marriage procreative values. A threat to the very Constitution upon which our str8 founding fathers created this godly country with the help of god-almighty-already. This nation is one of Adams and Eves only.

Go to Chicago Pride. You will see Police, News Anchors, Politicians, etc all involved in the Parades. Chicago, IL is one of the top 5 cities in the US and Indianapolis, IN would like to think it is following in Chicago's footsteps. Our tax dollars go to pay for all of the annoying construction on the highways and downtown areas to prepare for Superbowl 2012, should we also be preparing for the change in the social climate?

To be taken seriously as a major US city, Indianapolis needs to grow up and become more progressive. That is all I'm going to say.

It is by no means unusual for police officers and other public safety workers to participate in Pride parades, although I suspect that since some firefighters in San Diego claimed a couple of years ago that they were coerced into it, this may perhaps be more voluntary than heretofore.

Accompanying a certain Mr. Bil Browning in yesterday's DC Pride parade were contingents from DC Metropolitan Police and Fire/EMS, the Metro Transit Police and George Mason Univ. police, rather fewer police departments represented than in past years.

Of course, Indiana is the state that gave us the architect of a decade of Bush-Administration stripmining of the Treasury who, now that a Democrat, and a Democrat who is not 100% white, is in the White House, has decided that deficits whose beneficiaries are normal people are horrible dreadful things, plus Evan Bayh, plus the former Mark Souter.

Would you please go to the blackboard, EdA, and diagram that last sentence for us? ... Or maybe a flowchart, if that would work better? ...

Sorry for being so convoluted and cryptic, AJ, and, in honesty, off-topic with irrelevant digs at some Indiana politicians.

As George W. Bush' Director of OMB, Mitch Daniel was one of the people most responsible for creating the federal budget deficit which has simply ballooned, which has benefitted primarily America's wealthiest; now that Barack Obama is President, Daniel believes that deficits are horrible and that services to the majority of Americans EXCEPT America's wealthiest should be cut back. Evan Bayh was sort-of OK as a Democratic senator until the period starting just before his retirement; he has now become a solid corporatist working for Fox and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I never liked Cong. Mark Souder, a fundamentalist Christianist, from the first time I heard him; a major advocate of "family values" and "abstinence only," surprise surprise, he couldn't abstain from sleeping with an aide with whom he made an "abstinence only" video.


Didn't mean to pick on you -- my notion of sentence diagramming was meant to be itself a joke.

Ambiguous sentence structure can be fun -- the prime example is the classic question, "If I told you how badly I want your body, would you hold it against me?"