PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police are investigating anti-LGBTQ vandalism at a Southwest Portland church.
Police were called to the Hillsdale Community Church, United Church of Christ on Sunday after neighbors saw homophobic slurs and signs painted on the the building. Police then responded to the church Wednesday after a brick was thrown through a window, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The brick had a piece of paper attached to it with homophobic slurs, according to the church’s pastor, Rev. Gabrielle Chavez.
The church has flown a rainbow flag outside for years and similar vandalism has happened before, Chavez said.
The Portland Police Bureau said detectives are investigating the incidents as potential bias crimes.
“We have compassion and concern for the person or persons that is damaged enough to inflict this damage, who is so broken that they attack other people they hate,” Chavez said.
The church thanked its congregants and neighbors for helping to clean up the vandalism in a Facebook post.
The United Church of Christ says in its list of beliefs that it does not view race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed as an impediment to full participation in the church.
“We know it’s important to be a witness to the neighbors that we’re loving and accepting of all people,” Chavez said. “We’re going to hold to our values.”