NEW ORLEANS -- The NOPD, along with the FBI, are investigating a hate crime caught on tape.
Security cameras caught a man vandalizing a gay couple's home on Julia Street just after 1 a.m. Saturday. The video showed a man getting out of a vehicle, using a ladder to remove a gay pride flag and then returning to spray paint words on their wall.
It was same flag John Hill and his fiance John Weimer Jr. held high just last month during a rally of support for the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.
'John and I were waving it around and were photographed kissing in front of our flag,' said John Hill. 'So it was kind of a special flag that we wanted to have around for our wedding in New York.'
The couple woke up Saturday to find not only the flag missing,but cruel words spray painted on their home.
'It really felt like I was getting kicked in the gut again,' said Hill who is a local activist for the LGBT community and was, until recently, the chairman of the Forum for Equality.
'I find it just crazy that people have that much hate in their heart,' said his partner John Weimer Jr. 'I am just a normal person and I live my life just like a normal person.'
What was especially startling to the couple was the deliberate nature of the crime.
'I was expecting some drunk idiot to have done it, but it was premeditated,' said Weimer Jr.
That is why the couple says they want everyone to see the vandalism and see what was done to their home.
'He has lost already because he has invigorated us and our friends - we are outraged,' said Hill.
Now they are fighting back. 'We tripled down,' said Hill. 'Replacing it with three flags and we put the Forum for Equality banner up for everyone to see.'
The couple says they are using this hateful word to spread their own message. 'It's time for all of you great straight allies to come help your LGBT citizens because these people harm us,' said Hill.
Hill says he recently wrote an editorial piece for the newspaper about how Louisiana is still hostile towards the gay community. He says it is possible he was targeted as result of the article and says it is something police and FBI investigators are looking at as part of their investigation.