Banner belonging to Oakland’s Gay Men’s Chorus vandalized with anti-gay messages

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BERKELEY (KRON) — Anti-gay messages were found on a banner for the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus. 

The targeted banner hangs outside the choir’s office in Berkeley.

“There’s been a lot of, a lot of disgust, quite honestly,” said James Berglund, choir member. 

The banners were found with hate filled anti-gay slurs at the office on Alcatraz Street.

“People are just not going to be putting up with it anymore, so we’re tired of it,” Berglund said.

Berglund is the group’s chair.

He discovered the vandalism Sunday morning.

“I noticed that the signs have been defaced and then scratched out so I don’t know who defaced it and I don’t know who scratched it out,” he said. 

A neighbor who did not want to speak on camera says he saw a man writing on the banners during broad daylight.

Then later he saw someone scribble over the words.

Berglund says this is the first time the group has ever had anything defaced or destroyed in their office.

“You know even in the Bay Area, as liberal and accepting as people are in the Bay Area, this stuff still happens,” he said. 

There was even discussion of changing the name of the chorus.

Not all members are gay or men.

“We thought that maybe it’s time to just say community chorus,” Berglund said. “It was a very fleeting discussion and we realized we still need to keep that name in our organization’s title and this kind of proves it.”

An act of hate has led to kindness.

Three-hundred dollars was raised to replace one banner.

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