Community leaders will congregate at the St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Church in Los Olivos on Wednesday, August 10, to raise a new pride flag and address the theft and burning of the previous pride flag.
On Thursday, July 28, a pride flag hanging at the church in Santa Ynez Valley was cut down, and a video of the flag burning was later posted on social media. After an investigation from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, two people identified as “young adults,” were declared suspects in the hate crime, though no arrest has been made and charges have not been filed.
Community members reported seeing videos of the flag being burnt on Snapchat, and Sheriff’s detectives said the two suspects admitted to stealing another pride flag in the Ballard area and filming themselves burning it. In the video, the suspects are heard laughing and making homophobic remarks as the flag burns.
Speakers at the event will include County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Reverend Randall Day, and representatives from Santa Ynez Valley Pride and Rainbow House Inc.