LGBT+ in B.C.: Nanaimo and Vancouver rainbow crosswalks defaced with paint

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      Although June was Pride month, and many Pride celebrations are still to come in B.C., Pride-related symbols have come under attack from vandals in the province.

      Over on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo RCMP stated in a news release today (July 6) that a rainbow crosswalk, located at the intersection of Bastion and Commercial streets, in Downtown Nanaimo was vandalized around 4 a.m. on July 3.

      Nanaimo RCMP stated that although the actual defacing of the crosswalk wasn’t captured in images, police did obtain photos of a man walking towards and away from the crosswalk while carrying a can of paint and a paint brush between 3 and 4 a.m.

      The individual is described as a white male in his mid-30s with short, dark hair. At the time, he was wearing a black medical face mask, a black t-shirt, light-coloured shorts, and black shoes.

      Nanaimo RCMP released photos of this person of interest, as well as strokes of black paint that had been made upon the crosswalk.

      "Considering that the crosswalk was painted to recognize the LGBTQ2+ community in Nanaimo, this incident is being treated as a hate-motivated mischief,” Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson Const. Gary O’Brien stated in a news release. “If a suspect is positively identified and charges laid, this factor may be considered by the courts as an aggravating factor."

      Officials at the City of Nanaimo have been informed about the vandalism.

      Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

      Nanaimo RCMP are seeking to identify this person of interest who was walking to and from Nanaimo's rainbow crosswalk on July 3.
      Nanaimo RCMP

      Meanwhile in Vancouver, CBC News reported that the rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Davie and Bute streets was defaced with white paint on July 1. Crews using a pressure-washer cleaned it up by July 2 and Vancouver police are investigating the incident.

      Last month, a Pride Month installation at Shaughnessy Heights United Church was reported vandalized in Vancouver.

      Rainbow-coloured doors featuring the words “God’s Doors Are Open For All” on them had been splattered with white paint sometime between June 13 and 14. This incident is under police investigation as a possible hate crime.