'Homophobia remains rampant': Jamaica Plain church defaced with anti-LGBTQ messages

First Baptist Church Jamaica Plain in Jamaica Plain, Boston. (Google Maps screenshot)
First Baptist Church Jamaica Plain in Jamaica Plain, Boston. (Google Maps screenshot)

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office is investigating homophobic vandalism at the First Baptist Church Jamaica Plain, which openly welcomes LGBTQ people.

Early Thursday morning, the church's steeple was spray painted with "homophobic, violence and hateful graffiti," according to a post by the church on Facebook.

During an interview with the Boston Globe, Rev. Ashlee Wiest-Laird said the graffiti included messages like "God does not love you." She also provided a photo to the Globe showing the message that queer people "should die."

"This is just the latest reminder that homophobia remains rampant in our communities," said the Facebook post, noting the defacement took place during pride month.

District Attorney Kevin Hayden issued a separate statement denouncing the incident.

“This dangerous, hurtful messaging is an instant reminder of the hatred within too many hearts in our city and cities across the nation," Hayden said. "We will do everything possible to protect members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Boston and Suffolk County. But our efforts must be supported by national leaders in both parties speaking in unison against these insidious impulses in our society."

Members of the church say they are not standing by. They are planning to hold a "Pride Celebration/Speak Out" rally Sunday afternoon.

Vanessa Ochavillo Associate Producer
Vanessa Ochavillo is an associate producer for WBUR focused on digital news.



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