A church in Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego, was vandalized over the weekend. Police are investigating a possible hate crime after vulgar phrases and satanic symbols were spray painted onto the outer walls of South Bay Pentecostal Church at about 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Amando Huizar, South Bay Pentecostal Church’s executive pastor, told NBC 7 he thinks the church was targeted due to his opposition to “Drag Queen Story Hour.”
“We’ve stood up the last several weeks to share our concern regarding the upcoming drag queen story hour,” Huizar said. “We feel that maybe, perhaps, those two are connected.”
Conservatives and Christians have outspokenly opposed Drag Queen Story Hour events across the nation, which involve adult men dressing up in drag to read to young children. The events often take place at public libraries, supported by taxpayer dollars. Last September, a gay man testified that Drag Queen Story Hour involves an attempt at “the grooming of the next generation.” He seemed not to understand the horrifying connotation of his words.
Many sex offenders have been unmasked after performing before children at these events, leading the Houston chapter to fold. Police and activists who identify as antifa have protected Drag Queen Story Hour events from peaceful protesters. On one occasion, police stationed snipers atop a library to protect one event.
Chula Vista police told NBC 7 there was no direct connection between the vandalism at South Bay Pentecostal Church and Drag Queen Story Hour. The organization behind the drag event, the South Bay Alliance, condemned the vandalism as “extremely inappropriate.”
“It has no place in any political dialogue. I sincerely hope it was not in response to their position on the storytime, but if it was, it is extremely inappropriate,” the group added in a statement.
Yet the connection seems plausible. Huizar, the pastor, told ABC 10 News “there is no doubt” his church was targeted. He had spoken out against the opposition to the Drag Queen Story Hour event for the past two weeks. “The Chula Vista Public Library said this is a reflection of our community. I beg to differ,” he said.
“I’m all about diversity. I am all about inclusiveness,” the pastor continued. “When you do something like a ‘Drag Queen Story Hour,’ you are excluding a segment of the populous who are not in favor of this because of what we experienced today or scared to speak out.”
“I’m very sad,” Huizar said. “I’m heartbroken, but I am going to continue to speak.”
The pastor did not paint over the graffiti, but is instead waiting for the investigation to be complete. Volunteer parishioners did cover the graffiti before people arrived for the service on Sunday, however.
Police said two people were spotted on surveillance video. Huizar said the video captured two men exiting their dark-colored sedan with backpacks and spray paint cans at about 3 a.m.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.