A Pride flag was burned outside Same Gender Love, a boutique in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, this week.
Merrick Moses, board chair of the Pride Center of Maryland, was filming an episode of Queer Conversations, “an internet series featuring racial, sexual and gender minorities,” when the flag was burned, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Moses posted photos of the flag on Facebook, and wrote: ‘We were just minding our own “queer” business, not hurting anyone. Why burn our flag? What’s the purpose? Why can’t LGBTQ people live in peace?’
Police have opened a hate crime investigation. The Baltimore Sun adds that two men were seen in surveillance video running away after setting fire to the flag: “[Moses] and LaToi Williams, the show’s host, ran outside with the manager to find the flag still smoldering. Moses said it made him angry and upset. ‘That flag represents not just a people but it also represents a struggle of a people to live as human beings,’ Moses said. ‘The flag was adopted because it shows the diversity of our community. It also shows our strength and the promise of our country, that all people are created equal. When someone burns this flag, it says we don’t respect your humanity and we think you don’t belong here.'”