CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Members at a Cambridge church are worried some vandalism is actually a vicious attack on their beliefs.
Someone stole the rainbow flag that hung outside of First Parish last week.
“It’s possible it was a meaningless prank but much more likely that it was a targeted crime against our human advocacy for all people,” said Reverend Fred Small.
Small said he believes the flag was taken because of its symbolic support for gay and lesbian rights.
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“We’re going to continue to stand for the human rights of all people regardless of whatever vandalism or violence we may see,” said Small.
The flag was torn down once before during Tropical Storm Irene. It was found it in front of the church rolled up.
“We let that one slide but late last week we found it missing a second time,” said Reverend Fred Small. “And we had raised it up higher it’s almost impossible to get to without a very determined effort.”
The flag was twenty feet above the ground.
Churchgoers who are part of the LGBTQ community say they feel threatened by the vandalism.
“It made me feel vulnerable and sad that this happened,” said Marcia Hams, a longtime church member who married her partner in 2004. “We want this to be a safe place.”
Reverend Small said that other Unitarian Universalist churches have had their flags targeted in Watertown, Quincy, and Melrose.
Despite the incident, Small says they’re determined to stand by their beliefs.
“We will fly that flag again, and again, and again,” Small said.
Small anticipates a new flag will be raised within the next couple of weeks with a formal re-dedication ceremony.
Cambridge Police are investigating the case and are asking the public for any additional information.