Pride flag 'violently ripped' down and stolen from Burlington, Ont. home
TORONTO -- Laural Adams flies a Pride flag outside her Burlington, Ont. home every June for Pride Month. She does it to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ2+ community.
On Friday, her porch camera caught the moment the flag was stolen from her property.
“Somebody came to our house, violently ripped it down, smashed part of the light and took it,” Adams said.
“I’m proud to be an ally and it just made me really sad, because I thought we were moving in the right direction.”
She reported the incident to Halton Regional Police and contacted her local MP Karina Gould.
“Now, during Pride Month, it is even more important for us to acknowledge that we still have work to here in Burlington, in Canada to ensure a truly welcoming and inclusive community,“ Gould wrote in a statement.
Another Burlington resident, Christine Parkinson, had her pride sign stolen last month.
“A total of 11 flags were stolen from nine houses. Six flags were returned,” a Halton police spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement to CTV News Toronto.
“Some lawn signs were returned to residences last week, along with a note of apology,” the statement reads.
Police went on to say that the suspects have not been identified and investigators cannot confirm whether or not the thefts are related.
Adams says she hopes the incident will serve as a teaching opportunity.
“I hope other parents are educating their kids that this isn’t a funny teenage joke. This is actually a hate crime,” she said.
There has been controversy in the neighbourhood over flying a flag, says Adams.
It comes after a recent decision by the Halton Catholic School Board not to raise the Pride flag at its schools in June.
She got her flag from a non-profit organization called PFLAG Canada. PFLAG’s Halton chapter says they’ve seen an increase in demand this Pride month.
“We launched a Fly the Flag in Halton campaign and have sold 300+ flags in the region,” a spokesperson said.
Adams says she’s saddened by the situation, but the increase is “a good sign.”
“I think there’s good and bad to it, but hopefully the good will prevail.”