Spokane diocese matches donations to repaint defaced Pride mural

By Shireen Korkzan
Posted May 23, 2024

The Diocese of Spokane in Washington donated $7,500 to Spokane Pride in response to the city’s downtown Pride crosswalk mural being vandalized on May 16, 2024. Photo: Spokane Pride/Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of Spokane in Washington donated $7,500 to Spokane Pride in response to the city’s downtown Pride crosswalk mural being vandalized last week.

For me it is simple, when hate shows up love must show up and we must do that over and over and over again,” Spokane Bishop Gretchen Rehberg told Episcopal News Service in an email. Offering funds was in many ways the easiest thing to do.

The diocese’s donation matches all donations to repaint the mural, totaling $15,000. Spokane Pride, a local nonprofit that hosts the city’s annual pride parade and festival, announced May 22 on Facebook that it’s raised enough money to fully fund repainting the mural.

Video surveillance shows that the mural, a Pride flag painting on a crosswalk, was doused in a flammable liquid before being set on fire in the early morning of May 16. The footage hasn’t been released to the public.

Pride Spokane hasn’t announced if the mural will be repainted in time for the Pride parade and festival, which is scheduled for June 8.

During last week’s conference addressing the vandalism, Rehberg spoke in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

I acknowledged that the church has herself been a cause of pain for many in the LGBTQIA+ community, expressed by sorrow for that, and said that The Episcopal Church stands with our family,” she said.

On June 6, SB 5917, a new statewide law designating the defacement of public property targeting people because of their sexuality, gender or race a hate crime will go into effect. Hate crimes on public property will be made a felony. The bipartisan bill was proposed in response to previous Pride crosswalk murals in Spokane being vandalized last year. Spokane has multiple Pride crosswalk murals painted across the city.

-Shireen Korkzan is a reporter and assistant editor for Episcopal News Service based in northern Indiana. She can be reached at skorkzan@episcopalchurch.org.


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