Police charge alleged New Zealand rainbow crossing vandals

New Zealand rainbow crossing vandalised
Image: Instagram

Police have charged three people in New Zealand accused of defacing a rainbow crossing in the city of Gisborne.

Fundamentalist Christian vandals are targeting the rainbow installations in New Zealand.

Last Monday night, the vandals painted over the rainbow crossing in the CBD of the city of Gisborne. The vandals, who are supporters of the evangelical and homophobic Destiny Church, used white paint to cover up the rainbow colours.

Local police charged two men, aged 36 and 46, and a woman aged 45 over the vandalism. Inspector Danny Kirk said detectives are also searching for a fourth suspect.

“We consider that, on the face of it, the alleged offending is consistent with a hate crime,” Inspector Kirk said.

“We will seek to establish that as fact during the ongoing investigations and court proceedings.

“This incident has caused concern for many people in our diverse community and acts like this have no place here.”

The officer said, “Freedom of speech and the right to protest are fundamental principles of a free and democratic society under the rule of law.”

But the vandalism has crossed that line and police want reparation of costs from the vandals, he said.

Second rainbow crossing defaced in Auckland’s gay district

Last Wednesday night, the rainbow crossing Auckland’s Karangahape Road – New Zealand’s gay nightlife district – was also painted over (pictured above). Police are investigating that incident.

The defacing of the rainbow crossing is fuelled by the fundamentalist Christians’ anger at New Zealand’s “Rainbow Storytime” events.

Drag queens Erika and CoCo Flash host the family-friendly Rainbow Storytime events at libraries across New Zealand.

But Destiny Church and others have targeted the events, forcing the cancellation of some over security concerns.

A Rainbow Storytime event in Gisborne went ahead last week under police guard as around 100 protesters hurled homophobic chants.

‘Visibility of acceptance saves lives’

Gisborne’s Mayor Rehette Stoltz said the incidents are “fuelling hatred and division”.

“We accept that people hold different views however there is no place for hate or bigotry in Tairāwhiti,” she said.

“We stand in solidarity with the rainbow community and strongly support the message of the rainbow crossing as well as the kaupapa [“mission” in Maori] of Rainbow Storytime.

“This kind of visibility of acceptance saves lives.”

Rainbow Storytime hosts Erika and Coco Flash have put their events on hiatus to “take some time to be at home and regroup”.

“We have received an overwhelmingly huge amount of support messages,” they wrote on Facebook.

“Things are real out there so keep that support going and try to avoid the ick! Shield yourself for a little bit.”

Read more:

Rainbow crossing in Auckland vandalised

Community angels host Drag Storytime after event cancelled

NSW artists losing income over Drag Storytime cancellations

First gay Aussies to wed in New Zealand celebrate 10th anniversary

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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