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NEW YORK — This year’s gay pride parade will be significantly smaller than past years due to COVID and the absence of NYPD officers, both marching in the parade and protecting the parade route.

Organizers said the decision to exclude police and correction officers wasn’t an easy one to make.

Brian Downey, president of the Gay Officers Action League, calls the decision shameful and an abrupt about-face.

Downey spoke with the PIX11 Morning News on Thursday to share how he’s heard the ban is impacting LGBTQ officers and law enforcement, many of whom have proudly marched in years past.

David Correa, interim executive director of NYC Pride, spoke to the PIX11 Morning News on Wednesday about the decision behind the ban: