Parishioners at Texas's Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church are steadfast in their decision to fly a rainbow flag, despite that it's been ripped down and stolen four times.
After delivering an impassioned sermon on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford re-installed the flag for the fifth time on Aug. 23 at a service, The Austin American-Statesman reports. This time around, the flag has the church's name and telephone number written on it as a precaution.
"One of the things that we refuse to whisper is that we are a deliberately welcoming, inclusive place of worship," Crawford said during the service. "And we celebrate the lives and loves of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer."
As the flag was installed, she said, "May this sign, may this flag serve as a beacon to all who drive by to know that they are welcome here."
It's the second time in recent weeks that an LGBT-friendly church has had to defend their inclusive stance in the wake of petty crime. Last month, members of North Carolina's Wedgewood Church decided to paint the front doors of their church in rainbow colors after unidentified vandals scrawled an anti-LGBT epithet across them.
We applaud you and your congregation, Rev. Crawford!
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