Vandals Break Pride Flags at Stonewall Monument to LGBTQ Rights


Vandals destroyed more than 150 rainbow flags at the Stonewall National Monument in New York City during Pride Month, police said Saturday.

Authorities said someone had hopped the fence and taken down 160 flags lining Christopher Park in New York’s West Village, part of the first-ever monument to the LGBTQ equality movement.

The vandalism occurred between Thursday evening and Friday morning, the New York Police Department said in the statement.

City and state officials condemned the vandalism, with Attorney General Letitia James calling it “disgusting” and writing: “In New York, we stand for love and acceptance, not hate and bigotry.”

Mayor Eric Adams vowed to “bring whoever defaced the Stonewall monument to justice,” while Rep. Dan Goldman called the vandalism “unacceptable under any circumstances and especially hateful during Pride Month.”

Erik Bottcher, a city council member who represents the district, posted photos of the broken flags on Twitter and wrote: “Anyone who thinks this will intimidate our community is badly mistaken.”

This is the second time vandals attacked the Stonewall Monument, which includes both Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar that was the site of pivotal demonstrations in the late 1960s gay rights movement.

Three men were arrested for vandalizing flags at the monument during Pride Month last year and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime.

It is also not the only such vandalism to have taken place this year. In the days leading up to and at the start of June, 14 Pride banners were vandalized in Washington state and 200 pride flags were stolen in Carlisle, Massachusetts, according to ABC News.

President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Monument weeks after another tragic hate crime in June of 2016, when a gunman killed 49 people at a gay bar in Orland, Florida. In a proclamation declaring the monument, he called the riots at Stonewall “the catalyst that launched the modern LGBT civil rights movement.”

“From this place and time, building on the work of many before, the Nation started the march—not yet finished—toward securing equality and respect for LGBT people,” he wrote.

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