OWSON, Md. (WBFF) – A Towson church had its signs supporting LGBT and Muslim residents vandalized with hateful messages, and it’s being investigated as a hate crime.
Maryland Presbyterian Church, on Providence Road, will hold a Unity Rally Sunday morning in response to the incident.
Signs reading “We Celebrate Our LGBTQ + Friends and Family” and “We Love Our Muslim & Immigrant Neighbors” were defaced, as seen on photos provided by the church.
Baltimore County Police spokesperson Jennifer Peach said: “The incident is being investigated as a bias based destruction of property, meaning the motive for the crime is believed to be based on discrimination… Right now there are no suspects.”
The church said in a statement: “On Monday, February 11, 2019 a sign declaring love for the LGBTQ+, immigrant, and Muslim communities was vandalized sometime during the night with messages of hate. The vandalism qualifies as a federal and state hate crime and the police are investigating. We are thankful for their quick and professional response.”
The statement continues: “Hate survives in the shadows of fear, and a bold show of love and unity is how we choose to respond. We love our LGBTQ+ family members, friends and neighbors, and we love and welcome our Muslim and immigrant neighbors. The hatred of others will not stop us from showing The Holy’s love to all we encounter.”
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks wrote in response: “I condemn this hateful vandalism and hope those responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The pastor’s husband noted in a Facebook post that “this is the third such hate crime that has been directed at the church, two focused on the signs and one an ugly abusive phone call. All three incidents focused on the fact that the church expresses solidarity with Muslims and that it is welcoming and affirming for LGBTQ people…”