A rainbow Pride bench in England was smeared with excrement by homophobic vandals who spelled out “fucking queers” in feces. The bench, located at the Killacourt park in Newquay, Cornwall, was one of three that had been painstakingly repainted the colors of the LGBT flag in the run-up to Cornwall Pride on Aug. 25.
Authorities are investigating the incident, which took place sometime on Saturday night, shortly after the bench had just been repainted. “We will not accept intolerance within Devon and Cornwall,” says a police spokesperson. “It is clear that someone will know who is responsible for this distasteful criminal damage, and we urge that they come forward and speak to the police.”
Volunteers, who spent more than 26 hours priming and repainting the three 30-foot-long benches, were devastated by the attack. “After all that hard work it was heartbreaking to work through today knowing what had happened,” Corwall Pride organizer Matthew Kenworthy Gomes told PinkNews.
Why LGBTQ+ Pride?
Last Night Someone Shit on our unfinished #PrideBench and spelt out "F***ing Queers" in shit.
P.S Police have CCTV
The Killacourt in @newquay#whypride #lovenohate #stongertogether#notinourcommunity@stonewalluk @TheGayUK @DCP_Diversity @edenproject pic.twitter.com/x2F5F8ApZp
— Cornwall Pride (@CornwallPrideTM) July 22, 2018
The Cornwall City Council has labeled the incident as a hate crime and is calling on community members to condemn the vandalism and report any similar incidents.
Cornwall’s pride celebration kicked off in late June, with an open-top bus touring locations throughout the county and the largest rainbow flag in the UK unfurled on the beach. The massive banner will return for the August beach parade.
“Cornwall is a very rural part of the country and has very limited transport links,” says Gomes. That is why the ability to bring Cornwall Pride on tour, the very first in the world, has been an incredible achievement.”
He adds that Cornwall Pride is “an opportunity to challenge the hate and discrimination that happens on a day to day basis across the county.”
What would you do if you caught the person who defaced the rainbow Pride bench?