The chief constable’s comments on the participation of his officers in Belfast Pride (Police neutral on gay marriage, August 8) cannot pass unchallenged.
Mr Hamilton claims that the PSNI “is neutral on the political issue of equal marriage”. However, by using the politically loaded term “equal marriage” the chief constable has employed the campaigning language of the LGBT movement.
Does the chief constable see marriage as currently defined by the law in Northern Ireland as unequal and therefore something which needs to change?
In 2011 I made a number of Freedom of Information requests inquiring about funding to LGBT organisations in Northern Ireland. The PSNI advised me that between 2007/8 and 2011/12 £17,000 of public money was granted by the police to “support Pride”.
It is noteworthy that this year at the City Hall protest against the parade the PSNI thought it prudent to have two layers of crash barriers and a line of dozen police officers. This is testament to the fact that an impartial police force had no business being represented IN the parade.
As the PSNI know last year the protest was rushed by rainbow flag wavers who threatened violence.
Also, a number of years ago a protestor was falsely accused of assault by a man who screamed abuse at the protest for a good 20 minutes before being lead away by police. [NB Video of last year’s incident here https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Z1o-kDSeUeI and photos of guy who claimed he was assaulted attached to email].
Now we learn that the PSNI are investigating a complaint about a poster carried in the very march they took part in!
George Hamilton needs to reflect on his use of the politically loaded phrase “equal marriage”.
It is also incumbent upon him to disclose how much of our money the PSNI have seen fit to grant to Belfast Pride this year.
Finally, given that Belfast Pride is not just controversial but hostile to a group of people who do nothing more than sing Psalms, hold Scripture texts and preach how can he justify the participation of his officers in the parade?
Samuel Morrison, Dromore Co Down,