Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Fl., an LGBT-affirming church, decided to stand against anti-gay vandalism with a message of love.
Earlier this week, the church’s sign was vandalized with the spray-painted words “gay pastor.” At the time the sign read “1.4 million can’t vote due to a prior felony. Vote yes on Amendment 4.”
Amendment 4 would restore voting rights to former felons in Florida.
Rev. Andy Oliver chose to leave the spray paint, put up rainbow hearts and the phrase “Love always wins!” On the other side of the sign, the church continued to push for Amendment 4.
“Vandalism is a felony that shouldn’t take away your vote for life! Vote yes on Amendment 4,” the sign reads on the other side.
Oliver told the Tampa Bay Times the church wanted to turn the vandalism into a positive message.
“This is just one example of the type of hate crime and hate message the LGBT community goes through regularly,” Oliver said. “It certainly isn’t great our sign got vandalized, but we want to surround that message of hate with a message of love, and that’s what we’ve received since.”