Updated: Mar 23, 2021
As reported by Channel 6 in early April, a symbol of pride turned into a symbol of hate in five days at the United Methodist Church of East Greenwich on Route 2. Although the national body of Methodists had narrowly voted in February not to ordain gay ministers or approve same-gender marriages, the East Greenwich congregation decided to show its inclusivity by hanging a rainbow flag to welcome LGBT people. But within a week the flag was in tatters.
"It couldn't have been caused by the wind. It was cut…with scissors or a knife," said pastor Rev. William Trench, recalling that a few days earlier he had received an anonymous phone call asking, "Doesn't anyone there read the Bible? You shouldn't have that gay flag."
Amid the bigotry, said Rev.Trench, "There's an important lesson to be learned from this. It gives us a sense of what LGBT people go through all the time. It made clear why we need the flag."