HomeTop StoriesVideo shows Pride banners taken down at historic Manhattan church

Video shows Pride banners taken down at historic Manhattan church

NEW YORK — A historic church in Midtown Manhattan says someone vandalized its Pride banners.

A banner reading “Happy Pride” hung on the outside of Marble Collegiate Church as the weekend started, but by Sunday evening all that was left was an empty frame.

A surveillance camera captured someone pulling down the banners in broad daylight. The church decided not to report the matter to the police.

Church leaders say vandalism has happened before

“Marble is obviously deeply saddened that anyone would choose to take down those banners, out of ignorance and hatred,” said Matthew Morse, board chair of Marble Collegiate Church.

Morse said the community prides itself on its inclusive atmosphere.

“I view this as an opportunity to tell the good people of New York City that the doors of Marble remain open to everyone, regardless of their race, creed, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” Morse said.

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Church leaders say Marble is one of the oldest congregations in the five boroughs, with continued worship dating back to the 17th century. The building was dedicated in 1854. Leaders also say that this is unfortunately not the first time something like this has happened in recent years.

Parishioners, visitors are disgusted by what happened

“I remember walking by a few days ago when we first got here and I said to you, ‘Wow, they have Pride flags outside a church,’” said Jo, who was visiting from San Diego. “As a mother of an LGBTQ child, I think it’s disgusting. Anything done out of hate is just disgusting.”

“Disturbing,” is how Kafiah Johnson of Queens described it.

“It’s beautiful. I’m shocked,” Johnson said.

Especially since it happened before the New York City Pride March, which kicks off just a few blocks away next Sunday.

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