Vandalism temporarily closes Pride Center of Vermont
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vandalism closed the Pride Center of Vermont on Tuesday. The glass door to the Burlington space was found shattered by employees at about 7:30 a.m.
Police say surveillance video from just after midnight showed a person throwing two objects at the door and then walking away.
Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Mike Bensel, the executive director of the Pride Center, said the vandalism will not stop the nonprofit from serving the community and ensuring Vermont remains an LGBTQ+ affirming state.
“We’re still going to be here, we’re going to replace the door, we’re going to try and make sure that our center is a safe space for LGBTQ+ folks to come to. It’s a safe place to work, it’s a safe place for the community to use and access resources,” Bensel said.
Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the city is committed to fighting hate and discrimination.
This is not the first time the Pride Center has been targeted. A reported threat against staffers in 2019 temporarily shut down the center. Just days after that incident, posters connected to white supremacists were found affixed to the Pride Center’s door.
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