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Grosse Pointe Farms church says vandals burned Pride flag

Grosse Pointe Farms church says vandals burned Pride flag
Grosse Pointe Farms church says vandals burned Pride flag 02:03

GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A Grosse Pointe Farms church says a Pride flag flown on their front lawn was burned.

"My friends and my community are feeling threatened all of the time; that's what first goes through me," says Fr. Drew Van Culin, rector of Christ Church Grosse Pointe.

Van Culin recalls the experience, calling it one of the saddest and most troubling days in his 24-plus years in ordained ministry.

He says the flag has been flying for years, and a police report has been filed. While they await an answer that may never come, Van Culin says he's grateful for his fellow community members who have reached out.

"We offered to deliver flags so that we could show that visual support," says Shannon Byrne, the president of the nonprofit WE GP. She says the mission of the Grosse Pointe-based nonprofit is to protect and promote civil rights.

When Byrne was told about Christ Church's flag, her nonprofit created an online form encouraging community members to fly a Pride flag if they have one while offering up flags to those interested in displaying one.

"I think it speaks really to, if one flag is destroyed, we'll put hundreds more out, and we'll just show that who we are in this community and what we stand for," Byrne says.

"Yes, there are voices of hate, there are voices of opposition and diminishment, but the real voice of this world, of this community, is one of openness and affection, and we need to hold onto that," says Van Culin.

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