Canada: Houses flying rainbow flags struck by homophobic vandalism

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Houses in Toronto with gay pride flags flown in front of them were hit with homophobic vandalism this week, including graffiti, having dog excrement thrown at them and having car tyres slashed.

Graffiti included sentiments such as “be happy not gay”, as several houses in the west of the city were struck.

By Thursday the vandalism, which began earlier in the summer, had escalated to car tyres being slashed after the rainbow flags were stolen, and some houses had the excrement thrown at them.

Michael Hunter, a homeowner targeted by the vandalism, said he had to scrub the graffiti off with a wire brush, but said police were dealing with the incidents as hate crimes.

“We contacted police, they considered it a hate crime,” he said. “We learned then there were a couple of other houses that experienced it.”

The incidents started after the Toronto Pride Parade earlier this summer.

Neighbours in the neighbourhood have said they will not be phased by the attacks, and have ordered a hundred more rainbow flags to be handed out at a community barbecue.

“We’re not going to stop supporting the queer community,” said Sarah Harrison, one of those targeted.

Pascal Murphy’s car was targeted, and had its tyres slashed, after he replaced his stolen pride flag, and mounted it higher on his house, out of reach.