PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In two weeks, the Philly Pride Parade will march down Market Street celebrating the gay community. This year, a LGBT law enforcement group was selected to be honored as the leader of the parade, but was then forced to decline.
Committee members for the Philly Pride Parade chose the Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League, known as GOAL, to be grand marshal this year. At first, the newly formed group accepted the honor, but then 300 people signed a petition urging them to decline.READ MORE: 2 Off-Duty Philadelphia Police Officers Robbed At Gunpoint In Oxford Circle
Jo Mason is President of GOAL and says the annual celebration first arose as a response to police violence and mistreatment of people in the gay community.
“They felt that to honor the police would be disingenuous to original founders,” Mason said.READ MORE: Police: Man Shot Multiple Times, Killed In Philadelphia's Kensington Neighborhood
He says GOAL will work to gain the honor.
“In the hopes that someday, they will see that we are committed to what is in our mission statement, which is to be the voice inside the local law enforcement community.”MORE NEWS: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Center City Hit-And-Run Leaves Woman In Critical Condition, Police Say
A spokesman for Philly Pride says he understands why GOAL declined, and hopes the will continue building relationships in the gay community.