A man slashes a LGBTQ+ banner outside a Utah County home Jan. 23. (Video credit: Encircle)
UTAH COUNTY — A Utah man was caught on camera slashing a banner supporting LGBTQ+ rights that was hanging in front of a Utah County family’s home. The banner displayed the words, “No sides, Only love.”
That’s the slogan of Encircle: an LGBTQ+ Family and Youth Resource Center in Salt Lake City. The family said they put the banner up to show support of their LGBTQ+ community and neighbors.
“We already know that younger LGBTQ+ people are especially vulnerable to the stress of coming out,” said Stephenie Larsen, CEO and Founder of Encircle, in a press release sent to KSL NewsRadio. “This is because they often lack their communities’ support. This act of cruelty exhibits the lack of understanding and support of some community members.”
In the security footage, the man is seen approaching the banner and cutting it down Jan. 23.
Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, trangender and bisexual are more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to a study cited in the press release. These Utah County neighbors were aware of that, which is why they put the banner out in support.
“We found this act of cruelty particularly disturbing because research confirms that LGBTQ+ youth have much higher levels of suicidal ideation than their heterosexual peers, and therefore need a greater outpouring of love, acceptance and support,” Larsen said.
The non-profit organization, Encircle, wants to increase the support for these teens by putting out more billboards across the state with the same message: “No sides, Only love.”
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