Local News

Pride flags fly high at Hillsborough church following vandalism

Posted April 13, 2016 6:37 p.m. EDT

— A Hillsborough church has replaced two pride flags after someone burned them over the weekend.  

Members of the Hillsborough United Church of Christ displayed the flags following the passage of House Bill 2, and said they felt it was important to not let the vandalism silence their voices.

Pastor Jay Kennet said his staff first noticed the flags were missing on Saturday.

"When I pulled up I thought they were just missing, but a church member said they had actually been burned," he said. "There is something about the burning that makes you feel vulnerable."

Kennett said the flags were immediately replaced.

"We wanted to send a message to the community that we were supporting all of the people in our community, especially the LGBT community," he said.

Longtime Hillsborough resident Lesa Kurylo said she does not think the vandalism is representative of the larger community.

"I thought it was a really terrible thing to do," she said.

Nathan Taylor said he worries the sentiment of the vandals may be shared by many.

"That kind of bigotry is all too common, and it's really gotten me kind of down trodden lately," he said.

Regardless of the flag burning, Kennett said the vandalism will not stop him or his church members from showing love or support to the LGBT community.

"To me it was important to say we were not letting this act silence our voice," he said.

Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff's Office are asking anyone with information about the vandalism to call authorities.

The investigation is ongoing.