The intentional burning of two LGBT Pride flags in Baltimore earlier this week resulted in three people being seriously injured and significant damage to multiple homes, and leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) are expressing alarm.
"In a city as diverse, inclusive, and welcoming as ours, this crime is shocking," said Rev. Dr. Vennece Fowlkes, pastor of MCC Baltimore. "In a time of increasing public acceptance of LGBTQ people among the population at large, this horrific event is alarming, unacceptable, and accentuates the damage hateful rhetoric can create, especially when such language comes from politicians, media influencers, and other people in positions of prestige and power.
"While we want to allow time for local and federal authorities to investigate thoroughly, it seems evident that this is a hate crime against LGBTQ-affirming households," Fowlkes said. "The Bible speaks of justice rolling down like water. As we affirm our siblings and allies during this investigation, we stand in unwavering love and solidarity with the victims, and we anticipate God's justice to prevail."
"Throughout our 54-year history, our denomination has stood against hatred and violence in all forms," said Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, moderator of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) churches around the world. "We will put our trust in the investigating authorities, we will pray for all who were impacted by this horrendous event — including those responsible, and we will stand with the people of Baltimore in expecting and demanding justice."
MCC was founded in 1968 with a specific outreach to LGBT Christians. The denomination now has 140 churches worldwide.
To learn more about MCC or to find a nearby church, visit www.VisitMCCChurch.com .