Pride flag hanging outside Toluca Lake church found slashed: 'It's more of a disappointment'
A Pride flag hanging outside a Toluca Lake church was found slashed Wednesday as more LGBTQ+ symbols continue to become a target during Pride Month. The large flag hanging at Harmony Church Toluca Lake was cut through the center with a blade. This comes after violent fights erupted outside a Glendale Unified School District board meeting Tuesday night when school officials adopted a resolution recognizing June as Pride Month at schools. "It's more of a disappointment," said Harmony Church Toluca Lake Pastor Mark Stephenson. "I'm not as upset as I am disappointed that pride and prejudice and bigotry raises its ugly head." Stephenson said while the violence is disappointing to see, his church is standing firm. "It's important we have allyship but with that comes a price and just like you see today, there's a price to be paid, but it's not going to send us running away," he said. "We're going to face it." Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief Impact Officer Terra Russell-Slavin said she hasn't seen actions like the ones taking place this month in years. "I found myself really deeply upset and saddened by the fact that that level of violence, that there are people out there protesting families like mine, and that that we're facing these extreme far right attracts," she said. Russell-Slavin called them "coordinated and organized attacks." "I think we need to make sure that we're connecting those dots," she said. Last week, there was a protest outside Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood where some parents called out a recent Pride event that included the reading of the book "The Great Big Book of Families." The parents who protested said the LGBTQ topic is one that should be left for parents to teach rather than having it imposed on kids at school. Russell-Slavin said despite the violence, she hopes the city of L.A. will stand united. "We need our allies," she said. "We need the people who've been on the sidelines. We need to hear their voices. We need their support. We need a unified Los Angeles that we're not going to tolerate this hate."
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