North Carolina’s Newest Pastime: Burning Rainbow Flags Outside Of LGBTQ-Friendly Churches

Graham Gremore

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The atmosphere in North Carolina is growing more hostile by the day. Now that LGBTQ discrimination is officially legal in the Tar Heel State, antigay terrorists have decided to kick things up a notch by burning rainbow flags outside of LGBTQ-friendly churches.

After the state’s homophobic governor Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law last month, effectively legalizing hate and discrimination against LGBTQ people in North Carolina, the United Church of Christ in Hillsborough raised two rainbow flags as a show of solidarity with the gay community.

Related: So North Carolina Just Became The Most Homophobic State In The Nation

The small, 110-member church wanted “to let the [LGBTQ] community know there was a church that supported them and welcomed them,” Rev. Jay Kennett told the News & ObserverHe added that members felt it was important “not to hide from who we are and how we share God’s love.”

Then, over the weekend, someone ripped down the flags and set them ablaze, leaving the charred remains strewn across the church lawn for church members to find when they arrived for service the next morning.

“I don’t know how you can’t take it personally,” Brent Denisar-Green said. He and his husband, James, are members of the church and were married there last year. “What crossed my mind was how hateful. I just couldn’t believe somebody would do that, especially to a church.”

“I would challenge them to come and actually visit our church,” James added. “We’re open to all, even those who burn flags.”

Kennett called the flag burning “sad.”

“I have to say there’s a little bit of anger there, too,” he added. “I just grieve that somebody would do that.”

The church has already replaced the flags. Efforts by the News & Observer to reach the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were unsuccessful.

Related: Pat McCrory Signs Executive Order Making Anti-LGBTQ Law Slightly Less Anti-LGBTQ, Calls Naysayers Misinformed Hypocrites

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