Mayor’s Pride decorations slashed with a knife and burned by vandals

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The Mayor of San Luis Obispo has spoken out after the Pride flag flying from her home was torched by vandals.

The city’s mayor Heidi Harmon spoke out over the incident, which happened overnight last Wednesday.

The mayor had been flying a rainbow flag from her house, while a sign in front of her house had expressed support for equal rights.

Mayor Harmon explained: “A rainbow flag typically associated with LGTBQ rights, hanging outside my home was burned and left in front of my home.

Heidi Harmon

“In addition, a yard sign that was in support of civil rights for all in my yard was slashed.

“It is disheartening more than anything to see this type of negative action when I believe that so much can be accomplished through meaningful dialogue, even when there are differing opinions.”

She added: “We are in a time in history where personal attacks have been normalized on a national level, and we see that type of behavior replicated across the country.

“This is uncalled for and unacceptable. The City Council recently adopted a welcoming city ordinance deeming San Luis Obispo a welcoming and inclusive city.

“Anything that does not promote and support inclusivity on all levels for all people is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“We live in a time that calls for us all to work together through our differences of opinion and belief systems, to embrace marginalized people groups and practice committed compassion and equality.

“I stand with those who feel threatened, frustrated, misunderstood, and marginalized.

“I hope that the people of SLO will continue to work together to embrace our differences, and I am more dedicated than ever to continuing to move forward, to hear every voice, and to work together with all our residents to have a happy, safe, supportive SLO.”

The police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

A statement said: “A report was made to San Luis Police Department documenting the burning of a PRIDE flag within the city limits. The San Luis Obispo police department has since dedicated resources to investigating this crime.

“San Luis Obispo is a welcoming city and the San Luis Obispo Police Department is committed to the safety and inclusion of all its community members.

“If you have any information about this crime you are encouraged to call the San Luis Obispo Police Department at 805-781-7312 or Crime Stoppers at 805-549-STOP.”

Related: Pride flag ripped down from outside pro-equality politician’s office