Vandals reportedly stole an LGBT pride flag at a Homer Glen church multiple times and spray-painted a homophobic slur in white paint on the property, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.
The rainbow pride flag at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, 14719 W. 163rd St., was stolen three times between Dec. 12 and27, the sheriff’s office said. Video footage also reportedly revealed that two teens climbed the pole and ripped the flag down.
On Dec. 31, it was discovered the front drive blacktop at the church had been spray-painted with a homophobic slur in white paint that was eventually removed by church members, the sheriff’s office said.
“It’s too bad. It’s sad that it happens but if anything it has caused us to strengthen our commitment to LGBT folk in the community, because that’s really important,” said Dana O’Brien, the church’s pastor.
O'Brien has been the pastor of the church since 2016, according to the church's website.
O’Brien said the church installed the flag about two years ago after the congregation decided to welcome LGBT people and put them in leadership positions.
“The flag is indicative of our commitment to welcoming this group of people but also everybody, especially people who don’t feel welcome elsewhere,” O’Brien said.
She suspects the flag-stealers and vandals were the “same couple of kids.”
“Some people are afraid something may escalate. I pray that’s not the case … We’ve been active in the community and we’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences,” O’Brien said.