A church responds with love to anti-gay vandalism

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A church in Florida had a message of its own for the people who spray-painted homophobia on their sign.

This past Sunday night, someone spray painted the words “gay pastor” on the sign of the Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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“This is just one example of the type of hate crime and hate message the LGBT community goes through regularly,” said Rev. Andy Oliver.

Instead of immediately cleaning the vandalism, the church flanked it with hearts and the message “LOVE ALWAYS WINS!”

“It certainly isn’t great our sign got vandalized, but we want to surround that message of hate with a message of love, and that’s what we’ve received since,” Oliver said.

Related: Accidentally pro-gay church sign stirs up international controversy

The church is progressive, and they often get hate mail when they use their sign for left-leaning messages.

This past July, someone threw a brick at the sign when it had a quote from Civil Rights leader Representative John Lewis. The church put up that message to support Amendment 4, which would restore voting rights to felons after their sentences are completed.

Which explains the response the church posted: “Vandalism is a felony, that shouldn’t take away your vote for life! Vote yes on Amendment 4.”

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The church collected money for a new sign, and it should be installed next month.

St. Petersburg police said the vandalism is being investigated.

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