The New Orleans home shared by prominent LGBT activists John Hill and John Weimer, Jr., was vandalized Saturday night, a pride flag was stolen and the shutters of his windows were spray-painted with the word “fags,” the Times-Picayune reports.
A neighbor of the couple shared surveillance footage of the crime. Although the vandal’s face can’t be seen in the film, it’s apparent that he planned the crime was planned in advance and was in no rush. The driver gets out of the van, pulls out a ladder, climbs it to the second floor-balcony and comes back down with a flag.
Hill, chairman of the Forum for Equality, a Louisiana-based LGBT equality org, says the flag had sentimental value as he and his partner carried it to a rally to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings about gay marriage. The flag can be seen was waving behind them in an Associated Press photograph (above) of the partners kissing during the rally.
Hill thinks he may have been targeted due to a recent op-ed he wrote for the Times-Picayune in which he claimed straight Louisiana residents are hostile toward gay people. He was later interviewed about the article on television.
The city’s police have announced they and the FBI are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime and a $2,500 reward has been offered for information about the crime.
Watch surveillance footage of the incident below.
Photo: AP File