LGBT pride flag stolen from Edmonds church, again

EDMONDS, Wash. -- The pastor at Edmonds Lutheran Church said crooks have stolen their gay pride flag that once hung on the facility’s sign.

Pastor Tim Oleson hung a new flag Friday afternoon. It’s been a couple of weeks since Edmonds Police said someone not only stole the church’s flag but also taped a hand-written cardboard sign which cites a bible verse that some believe to be homophobic, LEV 18:22.

“Mildly annoying,” said Oleson. “Just because of the hassle of ordering new flags, ordering a new pole.”

“(We have a) feeling of urgency to put it back up,” said Suzy Baroud, “To show everyone in the community that this is something we stand by.”

Pastor Oleson said he understands how a literal interpretation of the verse could be perceived as anti-gay – and along that logic, he said he also believes the perpetrators committed a sin of their own.

“I know that there still are a lot of strong emotions around this issue of welcoming and affirming and accepting fully the LGBT community,” said Oleson. “By the very act that they’re doing is also violating the literal interpretation of other scripture, there is a deep irony in that.”

Oleson said it’s the third time someone has stolen the gay pride flag from the sign, but he said he isn’t angry. Instead, he would rather have a dialogue with the perpetrators, rather than replacing a flag Oleson believes represents inclusion and diversity.

“They’re a beloved child of God as well, and if we can start a relationship together I think that’s going to make differences and changes in our world,” he said.

Edmonds Police said it has no leads in the case.