LGBTQ Pride Month kicks off with bias-fueled pushback

In Poulsbo, Washington, 14 Pride banners were slashed. On X, the Colorado Republican Party posted: “Burn all the #pride flags this June.” And in Carlisle, Massachusetts, 200 Pride flags were stolen from the town center.

All the attacks on the symbol of LGBTQ visibility — the rainbow flag — took place within a week of the start of Pride month. They are just the latest examples of what some revelers across the country say are new and shocking levels of hostility and pushback on a globally recognized commemoration.

The hate is even cropping up in what many considered LGBTQ safe spaces: In Mitchell, South Dakota, a church known for its embrace of the LGBTQ community was vandalized with graffiti of a Bible verse condemning homosexuality and the word “ABOMINATION” in bright red spray paint on the sidewalk.

“I just feel like it’s progressively getting worse and worse,” said Heather Cain, 41, who started a GoFundMe page to help pay for repairs to the vandalized church, the Congregational United Church of Christ, in her hometown of Mitchell. ”The louder and prouder the LGBTQ community gets, the angrier people get. The more we have rights, the more people don’t want us to have that or be happy about having it.” […]

Click here to read the full piece. This story was originally published by NBC News on June 5, 2024.