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Florida Police Investigating After Murals Defaced Outside 2 LGBTQ+ Centers

Florida Police Investigating After Murals Defaced Outside 2 LGBTQ+ Centers

Police Investigating After Murals Defaced Outside 2 LGBTQ+ Centers in Florida

Someone defaced one writing that children need to be saved from “trans lies.”

Public murals outside two LGBTQ+ centers in Florida were vandalized over the weekend, and police confirmed an investigation is underway to find the perpetrators.

The murals outside the Zebra Youth and LGBT+ Center in Orlando were spray painted with transphobic messages, Nazi symbolism, and symbols that could be interpreted as a gun's crosshairs.

“Gay is not okay,” read one slur.

“Save kids’ lives from trans lies,” read another.

Zebra Youth posted pictures of the murals to social media along with a statement decrying the vandalism.

“We are working with the Orlando Police Department to identify and prosecute this horrible hate crime,” Zebra Youth said in a post to social media, adding, “We will not allow hate to win.”

The LGBT+ Center of Orlando declared the vandalism “Sad and infuriating!” in a post to social media.

“It's not the first time it has happened and even though is frustrating, we are not going to stop being a beacon of light for our community,” the LGBT+ Center stated.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer also took to social media to promise continued support to both the LGBT+ Center and Zebra Youth, but also the greater LGBTQ+ community.

“Hate has no place in our city,” Dyer wrote.

Democratic State Representative Anna V. Eskamani, an LGBTQ+ ally whose District includes portions of Orlando, called the acts “absolutely disgusting” and promised to “do what we can to identify who did this and hold them accountable.”

If the vandals’ goal was to intimidate the community, it didn’t work. Staff and volunteers quickly repainted the murals to their original condition. They were joined by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and artist Kim Murry who painted the murals and helped restore them on Saturday.

The news comes against the backdrop of a recent racial mass murder in Jacksonville.

While police said they are investigating both incidents, they provided no further information about potential suspects.

Both Zebra Youth and LGBT+ Center of Orlando promised to continue providing services and support to the LGBTQ+ community.

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