A group of lesbians was asked by police to leave an LGBT Pride event in Wales on Saturday. Members of the lesbian group Get the L Out UK attended the Cymru Pride march with banners that read, "Lesbian, not queer," "TransActivism Erases Lesbians," "The #CottonCeiling is rape," and "Lesbians Don’t Like Penises."
A video from the @GetTheLOutUK Twitter account showed the moment when South Wales Police approached them. An officer said their presence was causing "confrontation" and asked the women's sex-based rights group to move out of the street.
"At the moment, your march, this group of people, is causing confrontation between different groups of people," said the South Wales officer.
"We're lesbians," one of the women replied.
"Whatever you are," began the officer, but the rest of his sentence is inaudible, as the camera turned to a purple-haired trans-identified person holding a pansexuality flag screaming "fuck off" at the top of their lungs to a member of the lesbian group.
As the camera turns back to the police officer, he can be heard saying "To make sure it's safe, we are going to remove you from the road and I want you to do that of your own accord."
A woman responded, "I want to make sure I understand, that you are removing lesbians from an LGBT march."
"Yes, that is what's happening," the officer answered frankly.
"Why?" the woman asked.
"For safety," the officer replied. "For your safety and the peoples' safety." The officers said they would "use force if necessary."
Playwright and journalist Andrew Doyle shared the video confrontation with police and put aptly, "The police removing lesbians from a pride parade. The pride movement no longer supports gay people."
South Wales Police released a statement on their website: "South Wales Police worked closely with the local authority and Pride Cymru to facilitate a march through Cardiff City Centre on Saturday, 27 August. During the event, officers were required to engage with a small protest group who had assembled themselves on the route to block the procession. To ensure no further disruption to the event, officers asked the group to move to an alternative location nearby which they agreed to do. Officers explained why they needed to move, provided guidance about protesting lawfully and offered to facilitate a lawful protest. The group was cooperative and left the area shortly after. Contrary to some social media reports, nobody was arrested or forcibly moved by officers."
Maya Forstater, a development researcher known for winning a lawsuit before the UK employment tribunal claiming that her former employer had discriminated against her because of her gender critical beliefs, was in attendance.
"For what it's worth we stood to one side, didn't block the path or the entrance and neither intimidated or harassed anyone," she said in response to University and College Union leader Jo Grady, who accused the group of harassing others in a tweet. Grady is known for her part in plotting a "witch hunt" of her colleagues with gender-critical views in an effort to oust them from universities.
On their website, Get The L Out Uk describes themselves as a "grassroots lesbian feminist activist group".
Co-founder Angela Wild told BBC Wales that her group had "organized a march with Merched Cymru, Wales Women's Rights Network and the LGB Alliance for the rights of same-sex attracted women."
"It seems like same-sex attraction is now becoming a hate crime," Wild said. "We went to Pride to say this is wrong, and we got removed."
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