A sign in front of Faith Christian Church in Fitchburg that read, “Marriage is one man + one woman… and you know it” was vandalized with the word, “Love” Tuesday night.
Don Long, the Pastor of the Church, said, "I thought, well, we got a reaction,” adding, “Who could be against love? But I think the implication of someone spray painting ‘love’ on our sign was to indicate that we hate."
Pastor Long says his church didn’t mean any harm by it; they were simply stating their belief.
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"We have a right of free speech. For all of us to be able to say, this is what we believe, is important,” said Long.
Pastor Long reported the vandalism to police, but he doesn’t plan on pressing any charges. Fitchburg Police Captain Steven Giannini told NECN, "Having a difference of opinion is certainly everyone’s right. But we wish they would express it in a way than criminal acts such as vandalism."
Long hopes the incident will begin an open conversation. "What I am interested in is to create a dialog in the community where we could say, how can we discuss our differences,” said Long.
The discussion has already started.
Fitchburg Resident Evan Cornell expressed, "Marriage is all about love. If you love somebody, it doesn’t matter. Guy-guy, girl-girl."
Army Veteran Tanner Rockwell said he fought for our country’s freedom and everyone has a right to voice their opinions. “It’s about freedom of speech,” said Rockwell.
The incident also has people on social media talking. Some are even thinking about protesting in front of the church this weekend. Pastor Long says he’ll be ready for them. He plans to pass out fliers that explain his beliefs if they show up.
He explained, “People want to carry signs or whatever, that’s their right, I would trust they would give us the same right."