House of Pain

New York church reports pride flag torn and burned by vandals

Screenshot via ABC

In the latest of a nationwide rash of defacement of the pride flag, a church in East Syracuse, New York has reported that vandals tore down and burned the flag outside their house of worship.

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society reported that hoodlums destroyed the flag on Sunday. A church spokesman posted details of the incident on Facebook, and also reported it to police.

“As a welcoming congregation it has been our honor to proudly fly a gay pride flag from our building,” church officials wrote. “Unfortunately, on Sunday October 6th the burned remains of that flag were found on our property in our memorial garden. We believe this to have been an act of hate and fear and a police report has been filed. As a congregation, May Memorial has always been and will always continue to be a welcoming congregation where all are affirmed in their personhood with love and compassion…Our flag may have been burned, but our resolve to affirm the worth and dignity of every person will never be destroyed.”

Already the church has invested in a new pride flag, which flies outside the building. Police have said they are investigating the incident as a crime of mischief, though they have not ruled out hate crime charges in the vandalism.