Sydney: Uniting Church’s rainbow steps vandalised

To celebrate WorldPride the Uniting Church in Sydney painted their front steps with colours of the Pride flag. The Church has long history of inclusion and welcoming LGBTIQA+ people.

Overnight the freshly painted steps were covered with grey paint, and later a video of the church being vandalised was shared on social media.

The vandalism of the church’s steps follows several other attacks on pride related imagery around the city. A mural that depicted a hairy man wearing a bear mask reclining on a pride flag was also destroyed, as was a piece of stick-up street art in the inner-city suburb of Newtown.

The video of the church being defaced was posted by Charlie Bakhos who runs a Facebook page called Christian Lives Matter. Bakhos also posted a video of an elderly parishioner who painted the steps being confronted about her beliefs.

In the first clip the elderly parishioner is quizzed about why she is painting the steps. A man asks, “Is God for this?” to which she responds she believes that Christianity is about love, welcoming and hospitality, and that the Uniting Church is supportive of same-sex marriage.

The man behind the camera asks her to defend her beliefs and quote the biblical passages to support her beliefs, before accusing her of not correctly following the teachings of Christ. The woman says she does not agree and asks to end the conversation.

“This is abomination. This is disgusting. You need to repent.” the man replies before telling the elderly woman she is ‘going to a Devil’s hell” and asking her if she’s aware of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.  It is not clear from the video if Bakhos is the man asking the questions, and OUTinPerth is not suggesting he is responsible for the vandalism.

A second video shows hooded men pouring grey paint over the freshly painted steps. “F**k the LGBT,” one of the men says in the clip.

Josephine McDonnell Inkpin, the church’s priest, said they would repaint the steps.

“We will repaint! all part of our faith community’s decades of experience standing up for justice.” McDonnell Inkpin posted to Twitter. A few hours later the rainbow steps were restored.

OIP Staff

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