Less than a week after they were replaced, one of the Pride flags along Norwich’s main street was defaced again.
It appears someone came along with a paint roller on a long pole and painted the flag with white paint, said Brian Kennedy, a Norwich resident who is the spokesperson for the citizens’ group formed earlier this month in response to a number of anti-LGBTQ2+ incidents.
Ontario Provincial Police did not provide a comment about whether there were suspects in the vandalism. Kennedy said the incident happened sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.
The defaced flag was replaced on Wednesday.
The Progress Pride flags, raised by the Norwich business improvement association (BIA) in May in anticipation of June, which is Pride month, have drawn the ire of some of the community’s religious groups.
The Norwich Police Services Board has asked the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to investigate complaints against provincial appointee Gerrit Ten Hove after remarks he made to the BIA denouncing the Pride flags and the BIA for putting them up.
Also in hot water is the Norwich Township Council, which heard a presentation from Jacob (Jake) Dey, a Tillsonburg businessman who spoke for 30 minutes about why he doesn’t want the flags up before comparing homosexuality to a “social movement” akin to the Nazis.
Dey faces theft charges after several Pride flags were taken down in Norwich between May 20 and May 24.
Many are upset that the mayor and councillors did not stop Dey’s presentation after his allotted 10 minutes, or intervene sooner during it.