An Baptist church in Charlotte, North Carolina refuses to back down after being repeatedly defaced with homophobic messages.
Hours after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted to add LGBT students to its diversity policy, Wedgewood Church was tagged with graffiti reading “Fags are Piedofhiles [sic]” on its front doors.
Chris Ayers, pastor at the LGBT-friendly church, told the Observer the incident could be related to the meeting, but “it’s hard to tell since it’s the seventh time we’ve been vandalized.”
Vandals have also targeted Wedgewood’s flagpole and sign, which often feature affirming messages for the city’s LGBT community. In 2016, someone posted a homophobic note on the church door with a shotgun shell taped to it.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to fund a new paint job. “While this could be a reason to fear, we choose to stand together stronger than ever, ready to continue to be the welcoming, open, affirming congregation we have always been,” wrote Briana Collins.
In three days, it’s raised more than $5,283, far more than its $5,000 goal.
The last time Wedgewood’s front doors were vandalized, the congregation hosted a public party to paint a rainbow flag over the graffiti.