Less than 48 hours after transgender support meeting, local church vandalized

Lauren Bale talks to the pastor of a church that was vandalized.

NEW ORLEANS – Less than two days after a local church hosted a community meeting to support the transgender community, their property was vandalized.

Friday was a day of hope inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church Uptown.

“About 200 people were at that,” Reverend Paul Beedle said. “A couple City Council members and an NOPD Liaison were here hearing trans people, hearing their voices and their needs and their issues.”

Sunday was a reminder of how much work needs to be done. Someone threw a brick through the church’s stained-glass window this morning.

“We suspect that this may be somebody's response to us standing by our transgender neighbors,” Reverend Beedle said.

The stained-glass window was handmade after Hurricane Katrina.

“It represents the flood waters rising and the flood and the recovery after,” Beedle said. “It's a meaningful window to us and we love it a lot and we will make it whole again.”

The church is involved in numerous social justice campaigns and they said this incident isn't going to stop them.

“We will stand by our transgender neighbors and any of our neighbors who are marginalized and oppressed by the larger society,” Beedle said. "We're not changing our commitments"

In a church dedicated to love and acceptance, Beedle has one simple message to those who tried to shatter the sanctuary.

“Learn to love your neighbors,” he said.

The church filed a police report. They are hoping to raise money to repair the damaged stained glass. Anyone willing to donate can visit the church at 2903 Jefferson Ave., New Orleans, LA 70018.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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