The leaders of three Saskatoon churches targeted with homophobic vandalism say the experience has only hardened their resolve to support members of the LGBTQ community.
According to a Facebook post made on the page for St. Andrew’s College, the attacks came early on Sunday morning. Buildings at Grosvenor Park United Church, McClure United Church and St. Andrew’s College at the University of Saskatchewan were all defaced.
“All three are members of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble of the The United Church of Canada, offering a public, intentional, and explicit welcome to LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people,” according to the post.
“These acts have hurt and shocked our communities and leave us determined to continue our commitment to solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.”
The message was co-signed by the reverends and deacons for each church. It also contained a message for the vandal and authorities.
“As followers of Jesus we wish to practice compassion toward the vandal. We also stress the need for the police and our wider community to take these incidents seriously.”
The message concluded with a suggestion on how to combat such hatred.
“We invite those who wish to decorate your sidewalks and walkways with chalk art sharing messages of compassion and love.”
Sidewalk mural previously attacked
Sunday’s graffiti marks the second time in the last two weeks a vandal has targeted a symbol of LGBTQ pride in Saskatoon.
A Saskatoon man was charged with mischief earlier this month after the multi-coloured pride mural on a sidewalk at the University of Saskatchewan was defaced.
Police arrested the man on May 2. As part of his release, he was not supposed to return to the campus.
He was arrested again on campus on May 4.
Prosecutor Kim Humphries agreed to a second release, on the condition the man promised not to return to campus.