Allentown, PA

Break-in at Pennsylvania LGBT community center suggests potential anti-gay hate crime

Stephanie Leguichard

As Pride Month nears its conclusion, the robbery and vandalism of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA has come to the surface. The center stated that a break-in occurred between late June 6th and early June 7th, according to a news release Tuesday.

Cash was stolen from the donation box and the building was vandalized, suggesting a potential hate crime. Bradbury-Sullivan clarified that the damage was minimal, but the center now feels obligated to upgrade its security with 24/7 surveillance cameras. The center did not state how much money was stolen. This comes at a time when Allentown made the bold choice to celebrate Pride Month by raising the Pride Flag over City Hall. The police investigation is ongoing, and it does not appear that any arrests have been made.

“This was a despicable violation of our space and our trust,” interim Executive Director Bill McGlinn said. “The LGBTQ+ community continues to face attacks, especially during Pride Month. We remain committed to the safety and security of all who come to the center.”

The latest FBI hate crime statistics from 2020 show that 20% of all victims of hate crimes were targeted based on sexual orientation, while 62% were race-related, and 13% were motivated by religious bigotry. Additionally, approximately 29% of hate crimes occur in or near private residences.

However, anti-gay hate crimes fell in 2020 while anti-trans crimes rose. Crimes against property represent 28.2% of all total hate crimes. As this is a crime against property, specifically against an LGBT community center, it does not neatly fall into either category.

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Writer, editor, and leftist activist with writing in The Correspondent, Wear Your Voice, Adios Barbie, etc. Endlessly fascinated by the complexities of human minds and cultures. Currently completing my MA in Anthropology.


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