LATINO VOICES
01/23/2018 07:42 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2018

Indiana Church Targeted By Vandals After Hosting 'Resistance' Event

At present, authorities have few leads in the disturbing case.

An Indiana church was targeted by racist, homophobic vandals a day after hosting a “resistance” event tied to the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration

Parishioners at Unitarian Universalist Church in West Lafayette, Indiana, arrived Sunday to discover two obscenity-filled banners tied to fences on the property.

One of the banners reportedly read, “Die Fucker, Orlando just like Los Vegas [sic],” and included the date Jan. 23, USA Today reports

The banner apparently referenced both the 2016 massacre of 49 people that targeted the LGBTQ community at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as well as last year’s mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. 

A second banner referenced rock singer-songwriter Jackson Browne and included a series of racist and homophobic epithets. There appeared to be little connection between the two banners, save for the fact that Browne, who is known for his progressive stances, is scheduled to perform Jan. 23 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. 

The church posted unedited photographs of the banners to its Facebook page on Sunday. 

Church member Suzan Windnagel told USA Today that she first discovered the banners early Sunday, one day after the church hosted the Greater Lafayette Resistance Fair, which featured “speakers discussing the damaging effects of the [Trump] administration,” according to the event’s Facebook page

“I automatically called 911, because, I mean, you’ve seen the pictures of what was there,” she said. “The words were sickening, hate-filled and threatening.”

Later that day, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis responded to the incident in a lengthy Facebook post, noting that he would “not allow our embracing of all that is right to be targeted by those who feel empowered to deliver a message of hate, violence and exclusivity.”

Dennis is scheduled to speak at an event on Wednesday called “Stand for Love, Sing for Justice,” which will be held at the church and is planned as a response to the threats. 

Orlando police told The Associated Press that they’ve increased security ahead of Browne’s performance due to the incident. 

At present, Indiana law enforcement officials told USA Today they had few leads in the case.  

America does not do a good job of tracking incidents of hate and bias. We need your help to create a database of such incidents across the country, so we all know what’s going on. Tell us your story.

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