Gainesville’s ABC affiliate reports:
On Saturday morning, members of the Pride Community Center in Gainesville received a call from a real estate office in the same complex about their building being vandalized.
“She told me that she was just informed by somebody that came to her office that the pride center had been vandalized and that the windows were all smashed,” said board member Debbie Lewis. “The reason it’s being investigated as a hate crime is because of the notes that were left.”
Members didn’t want to share the messages due to the ongoing investigation and the community joined in helping board up the windows.
The Gainesville Sun reports:
The attack came just weeks before the highly anticipated return of the Gainesville Pride Festival on Oct. 22, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Those who showed up at the center helped clean the mess left behind, sweeping up glass and rocks.
“Later I will be angry about this vicious hate crime but right now I’m incredibly sad for every vulnerable person in my community,” County Commission candidate Mary Alford said, adding that she faults some elected Republicans who have shared anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.