July 11, 2019 10:44 am

Local Kingston store vandalized with anti-Pride messages

The owner of a downtown Kingston store is speaking out after her window storefront was vandalized with anti-LGBTQ2 messages.

Jennifer Basa

The owner of a downtown Kingston store says she arrived to work on Tuesday morning to find her storefront windows, which were displaying Pride messages, had been vandalized.

“I was so furious I started shaking, actually,” said Amanda Stewart, who owns Amanda’s House of Elegance on Princess Street.

“I took the picture and sent it to the police.”

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According to Stewart, someone had defaced messages displayed in the window in support of Pride month by adding words to her decals in blue writing, which read: “God hates the proud.”

In another pane of her storefront window, the owner’s message reading “love is love” was reportedly defaced, with the word “love” crossed out and replaced by “God.”

READ MORE: Toronto Pride parade kicks off downtown on Sunday

“I wasn’t going to post it on social media but then I thought some other stores maybe had come across these problems,” Stewart told Global News.

After posting photos of the window on her Facebook page, Stewart quickly received several positive comments from members of the LGBTQ2 community.

One post from Facebook user Wendy Marie read: “Horrible it happened but good to see all of the support for love. I am so fortunate to have had the love and support in my life, to have never felt like who I love is wrong…”

Since posting the photos online, Stewart says there has been an outpouring of support from members of the community, including employees of stores nearby, who volunteered to help her clean up.

“I have a seven-month-old daughter and I don’t want her to grow up in a world like that,” Stewart says. “I want her to grow up feeling loved and appreciated in her community so when I see things like that have happened to my local store, it’s heartbreaking.”

READ MORE: Kingston police looking for suspects in alleged hate-related crime

Stewart said she called the police, who have opened an investigation.

Const. Ash Gutheinz, media relations officer with the Kingston police, confirmed that officers were called to the downtown store after the incident.

“However, we have no witnesses or suspects at this time,” Gutheinz said in an email.

“If any member of the public has information that could lead us to identifying the suspect, it would be greatly appreciated.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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