Shooting Targets Pride Flag at Oregon Library

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Shooting Targets Pride Flag at Oregon Library : Hate Crime Investigation Launched

Newberg, OR – In a shocking incident, a Pride flag displayed at the Newberg Public Library was shot at with a pellet gun this week, leading to a shattered window but fortunately no injuries. The Newberg-Dundee Police Department is investigating the act as a possible hate crime, underscoring rising concerns over violence against LGBTQ+ symbols and communities.

Incident Details and Immediate Response

The attack occurred earlier this week when the Pride flag, prominently displayed at the Newberg Public Library, was targeted. Detective Robert Mitchell from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department confirmed that no other parts of the library were damaged. Authorities are currently reviewing surveillance footage to identify the perpetrator(s), but no arrests have been made so far​.

Community Reaction and Official Statements

Newberg Mayor Bill Rosacker strongly condemned the act, labeling it “abhorrent” and an attack on the community. He emphasized the city’s commitment to finding those responsible and reassured residents that extensive surveillance footage is being used in the investigation. “The act was an attack on the citizens of Newberg and will not be allowed to pass without consequences,” Rosacker stated​​.

Broader Context of Rising Anti-LGBTQ+ Incidents

This incident is part of a disturbing trend of anti-LGBTQ+ violence coinciding with Pride Month. Recently, over 200 Pride flags were stolen from Carlisle, Massachusetts, a church in Mitchell, South Dakota, was defaced with homophobic graffiti, and multiple Pride banners in Poulsbo, Washington, were slashed​​. According to GLAAD, last year’s Pride Month saw at least 145 incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault against LGBTQ individuals and events​.

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GLAAD’s Response and Community Resilience

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, responded to the Newberg incident by emphasizing that such acts of intimidation fail to silence the LGBTQ community. She highlighted the increasing participation in Pride events as a testament to the resilience and solidarity within the community. “More people are attending Prides, more companies are sponsoring Prides, more communities are organizing and hosting Prides because they are amazing ways to show solidarity and support for all in the community,” Ellis remarked)​.

Newberg Library’s History with Pride Symbol Controversies

This is not the first time the Newberg Public Library has faced controversy over Pride symbols. In 2021, the local school board made headlines by voting to ban Pride flags and other “political” symbols from campuses. The policy was later rescinded in 2022, reflecting ongoing debates about inclusivity and representation in public spaces​ (ModernGhana)​.

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