HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In one week, a Hillsborough church has had two incidents of vandalism where LGBT-pride flags were burnt or stolen.
Pastor Jay Kennett, of Hillsborough United Church of Christ, says he put the flags up after HB2 in support of the LGBT community.
Within the last week, he has had to replace the flags three separate times.
“The burning was dramatic and so it was left you feeling very vulnerable,” said Kennett.
Over the weekend, Kennett found the charred remains of the burnt flags in front of the sign.
Thursday, he arrived to find the flags he replaced the burnt ones with had been stolen.
Kennett says he and his church will continue to stand with the LGBT community regardless of the backlash.
“Jesus welcomed all people and that your sexual orientation and gender identity are part of who you are and we don’t turn you away because of who you are,” he said.
Kennett says it hasn’t just been negative responses the church is receiving. He says several members of the local community have shown support by honking, clapping when they drive by, or saying they will keep an eye out on the church.
He also says he was recently contacted by someone who identified as an atheist, but who told Kennett they wanted to donate to the church’s cause.
As for the vandals, Kennett says he is not looking for justice.
“If they are caught, I’m not sure we want to prosecute them,” he said.
Instead he says his goal is to continue showing support for the LGBT community and he has plenty of flags to do so.
North Carolina reached out to sheriff’s officials for more information on the case however, they did not return our calls.