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Homophobic thug burns family’s Pride flag in ‘threatening act of violence’. So the family decided to do something about it

Emma Powys Maurice December 8, 2020
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Pride flag

The Pride flag was proudly displayed on the family's porch (Fox19)

Police are investigating after an intruder stole an LGBT+ Pride flag from an Ohio family’s home and burned it in a threatening “act of violence”.

The Fitzpatric family of Wyoming said the thief came right up to their front porch and even tripped up on their Christmas lights as they went to grab the flag.

“It’s a real sense of violation to have somebody come onto your property,” the mother, Michele Fitzpatric, told Fox19. “It’s an act of violence, it’s a threat.”

They put up the flag back in June when their daughter, Maggie, witnessed homophobic and transphobic bullying at school.

It prompted the parents to sit down with their children for a serious conversation about the Pride flag and what it stands for. After this the Fitzpatrics decided as a family that they wanted to make a statement supporting LGBT+ people in their area.

“It’s a way to show support of very marginalised people in our community,” Michele said.

They wanted to teach their children the importance of love and tolerance – but the flag ended up teaching them an important lesson about homophobic hate, too.

A passerby spotted the burning flag on the ground and made a post to the the Wyoming neighbourhood group on Nextdoor, alerting the Fitzpatrics.

The act has shocked the family, and Maggie says several of her friends have reached out to her after the incident.

“They were speechless, they were,” she said. “They never thought that this type of thing would have happened, especially in Wyoming, as it’s a very, well, I thought it was a very accepting community.”

The family aren’t deterred though and have already ordered a new, bigger flag to replace the burned one. Several of their neighbours have also ordered flags to show solidarity.

Wyoming Police Chief Rusty Herzog said officers are investigating the incident but haven’t identified any suspects. Anyone with information is urged to call investigators on (513) 821-0141.

“It’s sad that this kind of thing can happen,” Herzog said. “We can’t tolerate that type of crime.”

 

Related topics: Hate crime, Homophobia, Ohio, pride flag, Wyoming

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