The community is invited to a pride celebration and speak out in response to anti-LGBTQIA+ graffiti that was spray painted on the outside of the First Baptist Jamaica Plain church that was discovered on Thursday morning.
First Baptist Jamaica Plain is one of the most inclusive churches and prides itself on "standing up for the rights of our LGBTQIA community, hosting a [monthly] vigil in support of Black Lives Matters, offering educational events about Israel/Palestine, marching for our immigrant neighbors, speaking up for the incarcerated, advocating in the state house, working for affordable housing and and end to homelessness..."
The church also run a food justice program, hosts community meals, is affiliated with the Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, which seeks full inclusion and leadership within its church for the LGBTQIA+ community.
"We have received so much support from our community in response to the hate speech written on our building this week. We want to show our thanks for your love and as a show of public solidarity with our queer community in and around our church - with a celebration of queer love and joy!" said the church's Facebook page.
The community is invited to come to the church's front lawn on Sunday, June 11 at 1 pm for a speak out against hate, for music and dancing, and for glitter blessings.
The heinous act was not only revolting but also a call to celebrate Pride Month tweeted church congregant Scott Hadland, who attends the church with his husband and two kids every week.[WARNING: The photo in this tweet is not blurred and contains hate speech.]
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden released a statement:
“This dangerous, hurtful messaging is an instant reminder of the hatred within too many hearts in our city and cities across the nation. 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.”
Organizations, individuals, politicians and more shared their thoughts on the graffiti:
Disgusting acts of vandalism will not deter us from celebrating our LGBTQ+ residents.
We stand with Boston’s LGBTQ+ community & remain committed to ensuring that community members are safe & supported. We will not be intimidated in our work to make Boston a city for everyone. https://t.co/5tEn33ARRf
— Mayor Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@MayorWu) June 8, 2023
JP Centre/South Main Streets stands with our LGBTQIA+ community in Jamaica Plain and around the world. We are saddened to learn of the vandalism at @firstbaptistjp Hate has NO place in our community, and we shall not be intimidated. Love will win. #jamaicaplain #boston pic.twitter.com/XgX8r525pM
— JP Centre/South Main Streets (@JP_CentreSouth) June 8, 2023
I’m angry, frustrated, and tired of rhetoric and actions like this that have been leveled at my community and allies. We aren’t hiding though. We’ll be out and proud as much as we have ever been. pic.twitter.com/rdPwXweO0q
— Samantha Montaño (@SamvMontano) June 8, 2023
1/2 Today the First Baptist Church was vandalized in an act meant to scare and harm not just the queer members of this church but our entire community.
the LGBTQIA+ community makes JP what it is, a vibrant, affirming community and these kind of attacks will not be tolerated.
— Kendra Lara (@CllrKendraLara) June 8, 2023