A Pride road crossing in Ontario, Canada, has had a Bible verses scrawled across it, insisting that the rainbow belongs to God, not LGBT+ people.
Earlier this month, the rainbow crossing was painted in the city of Port Colborne in a collaboration between the city and local businesses.
Scott Sauder, of the Niagara Regional Gay Men’s Group, told the Port Colborne Leader that it showed local LGBT+ folk that “no one in this community gets left behind”.
But just days later, the crossing had been vandalised.
The words “Genesis 9:13” appeared across one of the stripes of the rainbow, a reference to a Bible verse in which God created the rainbow as a symbol for Noah.
The verse is often used by anti-LGBT+ Christians to “reclaim ownership” of the rainbow, and to claim that queer people should not use it.
For example, in 2017, a conservative pastor quoted the verse in a bizarre sermon to his congregation, insisting that God “owns the copyright for the rainbow”.
That same year, evangelical anti-LGBT+ creationist preacher Ken Ham lit up his “life-size” Noah’s ark in rainbow colours, attempting to permanently to “discredit” its association with the LGBT+ community.
Austin Gooder, a member of Niagara’s queer community, told the Port Colborne Leader that the vandalism of the crossing is “really dismissive of the queer community that has worked hard toward its own liberation and is still working hard to this day”.
“It’s also really dismissive of religious people who also identify with the Pride flag,” he added.
“If the rainbow is a Godly sign, then the people who will vandalize a rainbow crosswalk are vandalizing a sign of God. Sounds like a logical contradiction to me.”
MP Vance Badawey called the graffiti on the rainbow crossing in Canada ‘unconscionable’
Canadian liberal MP Vance Badawey wrote on Twitter: “This is unconscionable.
This is unconscionable. Our LGBTQIA community deserves to live free from harassment and discrimination & seeing this in my hometown is truly disappointing. I vow to always listen and be an ally to the LGBTQIA community and call out hate whenever I see it. https://t.co/02q5QJ0QVI
— Vance Badawey (@VBadawey) September 8, 2021
“Our LGBTQIA community deserves to live free from harassment and discrimination and seeing this in my hometown is truly disappointing.
“I vow to always listen and be an ally to the LGBTQIA community and call out hate whenever I see it.”
Luckily, within a couple of days the graffiti was removed by city officials and does not seem to have reappeared.