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A Sacramento church is looking for answers after discovering its pride flag burned to bits. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral had a flag outside the building on Capitol Avenue.

Rev. Matthew Woodward, who is gay, shared photos with The Sacramento Bee of his burned flag. The reverend told the news outlet it made him sad to see someone wanted to “take down what we think was a sign of love and burn it.”

Rev. Woodward has since reached out to authorities who are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Following the matter, the church rallied together to temporarily replace the flag, with one member donating their own personal flag.

Rev. Woodward went on to tell The Sacramento Bee, “love isn’t that easily defeated.”

According to the Episcopal News Service, Bishop Megan Traquair sent an email to her diocese expressing her condolences and condemnation of the crime:

“While the monetary value of the flag is minimal, the symbolism of the act is immense,” she wrote. “The Pride flag is a symbol of love, of struggle, of sacrifice, by generations of our brothers and sisters. I realize that not all are accepting of our LGBTQ neighbors, but we should all be united in condemning this act. Christ calls us to show love and respect to our neighbors.”

However, the burning of the pride flag will not stop the church from celebrating pride month.

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