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'Equality' Banner Vandalized Again at Hollywood Church

A banner supporting same sex marriage was targeted and vandalized again in the same manner as it was before, with the word 'equality' cut out.

Vandals have defaced a banner supporting same-sex marriage for the second time in recent weeks at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, this time it was in broad daylight, church officials said Wednesday.

The replaced 12-foot banner in front of the iconic church on Franklin and Highland avenues intersection directly addresses those that ruined the first banner, reading:

“Dear vandals: You can cut the word ‘equality’ out of our banner, but you can’t cut the message out of our church. We will always support marriage equality.”

This time, the last "equality" was ripped out.

Chad Darnell, a church member, was passing by area at around 3:30 p.m. Monday and was the first  to see it. But by using an exacto knife to remove one word, the vandals did not  harm the message, Darnell said.

"They cut it again, but they still didn't change the message," he said.

He said church officials have planned to put up a new banner relating to Lent in two weeks, and Darnell, a marketing coordinator for the church, said does not want to provoke the vandal again by simply replacing the same banner. 

Each banner costs about $500, and the church has spent $1,000 on both of the damaged banners, said Rev. Kathy Cooper-Ledesma.

"The issue isn’t the cost, although we’d much rather be spending our funds on our ministries with the homeless and with folks living with HIV/AIDS," she wrote in an email to Patch.

 "No act of vandalism will deter us from sharing God’s love and grace will all God’s children here, in the heart of Hollywood," she said. 

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