A California pastor believes recent vandalism and vulgar graffiti on his church building may be related to his outspoken protest of a drag queen story hour at the local library.
The vandalism at the Chula Vista church is being investigated as a possible hate crime after satanic symbols and vulgar graffiti were discovered last week, KNSD-TV reported.
(Video: YouTube/ABC 10 News)
“We’ve stood up the last several weeks to share our concern regarding the upcoming drag queen story hour,” South Bay Pentecostal Church’s Executive Pastor, Amado Huizar, said.”We feel that maybe, perhaps, those two are connected.”
The Chula Vista Police Department told the station there was no connection between the vandalism at the church and the “Drag Queen Storytime” event at a South Bay library, but were investigating the act as a hate crime because it was at a religious institution.
The pastor has been openly criticizing the storytime event which is a national program in which drag queens read books to children, some as young as three years old.
“These are kids aged three to eight. It’s not location appropriate. This is a public venue. And it’s not messenger appropriate. There’s no reason why a drag queen should be reading to kids,” Huizar explained to Family Research Council’s FRC Action.
“And look, this is not a fight against the LGBTQ community. This is not a fight against people who have lived that way. It’s not that at all. It has to do everything with why a drag queen who serves or works in provocative locations and is trying to embellish a [provocative] woman,” he said. “And it’s not appropriate.”
The South Bay Alliance, which helps host the Drag Queen Storytime, condemned the vandalism of the church in the San Diego suburb.
“It has no place in any political dialogue. I sincerely hope it was not in response to their position on the storytime, but if it was, it is extremely inappropriate,” the organization said in a statement, according to KNSD-TV.
Surveillance footage from cameras at the church reportedly captured video of two men who parked in the church parking lot around 3:00 a.m., returning after about 15 minutes with what appeared to be spray paint cans. The outer church walls were vandalized with vulgar phrases and satanic images which the pastor quickly covered up before church members arrived for service that Sunday morning.
“Sure enough, at every corner there were phrases, hateful words, and graffiti on the walls of our church,” Huizar told ABC 10 News, adding that “there is no doubt” the church was targeted because of his opposition to the library event.
“The Chula Vista Public Library said this is a reflection of our community. I beg to differ,” Huizar said.
“If the people want to make that happen, do it at a private setting, at a book store or at a home, but not at the Chula Vista Public Library,” Huizar said.
“I’m all about diversity. I am all about inclusiveness,” he told ABC 10 News. “When you do something like a ‘drag queen story hour,’ you are excluding a segment of the populous who are not in favor of this because of what we experienced today or scared to speak out.”
The pastor filed a hate crime report with Chula Vista police but said he will not be silenced about what he thinks is inappropriate.
“I’m very sad,” Huizar said. “I’m heartbroken, but I am going to continue to speak.”
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