In those days, law enforcement officers were invariably homophobic. Cops providing security at major Pride parades turned their backs in organized protest when contingents of gay cops marched by.
I’m sure the federal Park Police didn’t think twice about shutting the memorial down. It would have been second nature for them.
There never imagined they’d need a third think. ;-). A million people at an event certainly changes crowd control strategy. Which is probably why they relented so easily.