A police investigation has been launched after a rainbow flag was burned at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus.
The Pride flag was raised outside the old Student Union Building as part of the opening ceremony for OUTweek 2016, a student-organized celebration of gender and sexual diversity.
University officials say they believe the flag was burned sometime over the Family Day long weekend and called the incident “an act of hate.”
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Pride Collective of UBC called the incident a “suspected hate crime” and said they are cancelling an LGBTQ+ rights march planned for Wednesday due to security concerns.
“We are incredibly disappointed and upset that this is what needs to happen to protect the safety of all of our members and supporters because of the external visibility of this event,” the statement said. “All other events will be going forward as planned.”
The statement went on to say:
“The Pride Collective stands together against the burning of the Pride rainbow flag and we are taking the necessary steps to support our members and organizers, as well as the larger communities. Pride has had a history of being targeted by discriminatory violence and the burning of the flag is one that we are incredibly shocked and upset by.”
WATCH: The burning of a Pride flag at UBC has some fearing for their safety. Rumina Daya has more on the police investigation into a possible hate crime.
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