Anti-LGBTQ graffiti found outside Tabernacle Congregational Church in Salem

The door to the Tabernacle Congregational Church and the Pride-themed crosswalk nearby were both found defaced early Wednesday morning, with anti-LGBTQ graffiti on the church door.

The graffiti read “Cancel LGBTQ 2024,” Salem police said in a statement. The department added that it has received other reports of vandalism to Pride-related crosswalks and flags throughout Salem, all of which police said are under investigation. Police said the church was graffitied at around 3:30 a.m.

“So many have worked hard to make Salem a community where everyone can feel safe and welcome,” Mayor Dominick Pangallo said in the police statement. “This act of vandalism is contrary to who we are and to our city’s values. I strongly condemn this act of hate and stand firmly with those members of our community who identify as LGBTQIA+.”

Police Chief Lucas Miller said in the same statement that targeting the LGBTQ community and defacing the Tabernacle Congregational Church was “unacceptable.” Finding and charging the person responsible for the graffiti “will be among our highest priorities,” Miller added.

The Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division is working with the Essex County District Attorney’s office “in order to bring appropriate charges” when a suspect or suspects have been identified.

Anyone who may have witnessed these incidents or with information about the party or parties involved is asked to call the Salem Police Criminal Investigation Division at 978-745-9700, Salem Police Dispatch at 978-744-1212 or the department’s anonymous tip line at 978-619-5627.

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