Legacy of Love monument vandalized

The Legacy of Love monument, located at the intersection of Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road and dedicated to the memory of those who have died of AIDS, was defaced by vandals sometime early Sunday morning, according to reports. Someone used red spray paint to mark the base of the monument with the numbers “666,” a number commonly considered to be the “mark of the beast,” or Satan.

A group of volunteers from the community turned out Sunday afternoon to clean the graffiti off the monument.

The 35-foot-tall monument, maintained by the Oak Lawn Committee, which has spent more than $15,000 in recent years to repair damages to the monument after it was damaged in car crashes.

—  Tammye Nash

Couple Closes Bakery After Home, Car, Store Attacked By Anti-Gay Vandals

While Indianapolis bakery Just Cookies faced taunts for refusing to serve a gay-themed product to gay customers, Dave Zelton and his partner Kym say they were forced to close their bakery in Christchurch, New Zealand, because of something else: anti-gay torment. The couple says they saw their shop, home, and car vandalized and were subject to taunts like "all faggots need to be burnt and destroyed" shouted at them in their store. (The couple say police have told them nothing can be done unless someone gets hurt.) The stress, which has Kym on the verge of a breakdown, comes after they relocated their store after September's earthquake. Says Zelton: "We've had too many broken windows, and it's costing us money. We just have to let it go. We've got no choice."

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Vandals Target Gay Newspaper Xtra in Vancouver

The Canadian gay newspaper Xtra, which publishes in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver, says more than a dozen of its newspaper boxes have been destroyed by homophobic vandals in Vancouver:

Xtra This is "far and above what we've experienced in the past," he says. "This we find quite alarming."

"The energy that's required, the persistence to rip out a part that is very deliberately anchored in, suggests that this person has some significant issues," Kirkby says. "Somebody walking the streets out there has a real hate-on for the gay and lesbian community."

"I understand that people are not targeting Xtra with this; they're targeting the gay community. We're just a stand-in for the community," he says.

Among the stand-alone street boxes, only Xtra was attacked, Kirkby notes. But in at least one multiple publication box on Hornby St the only other gay publication, LOV magazine, was also targeted, its clip ripped out in the same way. No other publication was touched.

To systematically rip out the clips on 14 gay publication boxes from Gastown to English Bay suggests an obsession, Kirkby says, concerned the fury may escalate.

The Globe and Mail adds:

Ken Coolen, president of the Vancouver Pride Society, called the actions “cowardly.”

“It’s frustrating and it’s disappointing. We’re going into 2011,” he said. “It sounds like one or a group of people who are homophobic and looking at a way to lash out against the gay community. I guess this is a way of them doing it without thinking they’re going to be in as much trouble.”

Constable Jana McGuinness, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Police Department, said while it’s too early to call the vandalism a hate crime, “it certainly does look targeted.”

The Vancouver Police Department and Crime Stoppers are taking tips at 1-800-222-8477.

Towleroad News #gay

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Newspaper Vandals In Vancouver Make Push To Get Gays To Read News Online

Xtra, the Canadian gay and lesbian newspaper that still appears in print, has seen fourteen of its Vancouver-area drop boxes vandalized — while the boxes next to them for other titles remained unharmed. The targeting of the newspaper boxes, between Dec. 25-29, is being investigated by police, who are certainly aware Vancouver is one of Canada's "hate crime capitals."

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Vandals spray painted the f-word on Utah Pride Center

The f-word being “fags.” Via LGBT FYI, the LGBT blog of the Salt Lake Tribune:

Salt Lake City Police are investigating an instance of vandalism at the Utah Pride Center. Friday morning, employees of the center and its onsite coffee shop, Cafe Marmalade, discovered an anti-gay slur painted on the marquee in front of the building.

“We realize that often times the purpose of these actions are to cause widespread fear among the members of our community,” Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center, said in a statement. “That is why today we are speaking out. This will not be swept under the rug. We will not be scared into silence by acts of intolerance.”

The full statement from Larabee can be found here. Here’s more:

The Utah Pride Center board and staff acknowledge that in any social justice movement, the more progress that is made, the more resistance the targeted community will face. “We welcome civil, respectful dialogues with those who disagree with our mission, but this kind of hate language and vandalism will not be tolerated,” said Larabee.

The Utah Pride Center appreciates the work of the Salt LakeCity Police Department and the LGBT Public Safety Liaison Committee.

And, the Utah Pride Center posted a photo on its Facebook page:


—  John Wright