Task Force Against Discrimination Responds to Recent Vandalism at Grace Community Church
At our meeting on July 13, the Task Force Against Discrimination discussed the recent graffiti vandalism of the Grace Community Church in apparent response to the removal of pride flags and statements made by members of the Church during the removal.
We deplore the criminal vandalism against the Grace Community Church in Marblehead. As a Task Force, created by and answerable to the Select Board, we are committed to ensuring that Marblehead is a respectful, supportive, welcoming, and inclusive community for all of its many diverse citizens and visitors. Vandalism is a criminal act, not a form of protest. All houses of worship are deserving of respect and the expectation to be free from defacement and vandalism.
We applaud the prompt response and ongoing work of our Police Department to bring the criminal or criminals to justice. We join the Marblehead Pride Committee in their condemnation of the vandalism and echo their statement that vandalism does not represent how to further a message of acceptance.
The Task Force is increasingly concerned about the rise in reports of graffiti and defacement of property in and around Marblehead, especially if symbols of hate are depicted. Our members have been made aware of incidents just this week, one being the defacement of the Pride Art Installation and the other anti semitic graffiti found on a memorial bench. As the Task Force Against Discrimination is bound to Open Meeting Law, we plan to evaluate our options regarding the ability to respond in a timely manner to incidents at our next meeting on August 10. As always, we call on the people of Marblehead to extend respect and goodwill to all, without discrimination based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation gender identity, age, ability, or status.
Marblehead Selectboard’s Task Force Against Discrimination
Diane Gora, Co-Chair
Helaine Hazlett, Co-Chair
Chief Dennis King, ex-officio member
John E. Whipple