San Francisco Pride Goes On Lockdown With Security Checkpoints, Bag Searches

"This level of security is necessary."

In an effort to ramp up security for Pride attendees in the wake of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, the organizers of San Francisco Pride have announced this year’s event will be on lockdown with screenings, inspections, and bag checks at the “entry gates.”

An announcement on the organization’s website reads in part:

There will be security screening and metal detectors at all points of entry for the 2016 San Francisco Pride Celebration and festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 25 from 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM and Sunday, June 26 from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM at San Francisco’s Civic Center. Bags are highly discouraged, and no bags over 18” x 18” will be admitted. Everyone attending the Celebration must pass through the screening process. All items will be subject to inspection at the entry gates, and there are no lockers for storage of oversized bags.

In addition to oversized bags, other items banned from the celebration include alcohol, glass bottles, illegal drugs and — obviously — weapons, though fetish gear is “always welcome.”

Sam Singer, spokesman for SF Pride, told The Guardian the organization reached the decision after “lengthy discussions” with law enforcement “and mutually came to the recommendation that in light of the terrorist attack in Orlando, this level of security was necessary.”

The tightened security measures also come amid threats made against other Pride celebrations around the country. A day after the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, a man on his way to Los Angeles Pride was arrested with 25 pounds of explosives and loaded semi-automatic rifles in his car.

SF Gate notes that San Francisco’s annual Pride parade on Sunday won’t have metal detectors or limitations on bag sizes, though the festivities will have “a larger-than-usual police presence and a contingent of undercover officers…patrolling LGBT clubs.”

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett