The Galeria de la Raza's mural celebrating LGBT Latinos was set on fire last night, the San Francisco Examiner reports. It was the third act of vandalism targeting the mural at 24th and Bryant Streets since its unveiling in early June.
The mural has twice been tagged with spray paint, and has elicited homophobic responses on social media. Last night, it was set on fire with “some kind of fuel,” according to the police. The fire was extinguished by a neighbor. According to the Examiner, the fire will be investigated by the arson unit, while the two previous incidents will be investigated as hate crimes.
[jump] The mural, titled “Por Vida,” was displayed in honor of Pride month. It depicts gay, lesbian, and transgender Latinos. In a statement following the second defacement of the mural, the Galeria said the vandalism “has only proven the credibility of its purpose”:
Galeria de la Raza believes in the importance of continued dialogue about LGBTQ visibility, awareness, and acceptance in the Mission District and within the greater Latin@ communities. Galería does not condone actions of hate, violence and homophobia and is dedicated to continuing to promote understanding and tolerance through peaceful means. While ignorance and hate may have been expressed by the few, we thank the extraordinarily generous support we have received from the vast majority of the community.
Following last night's fire, the Galeria posted a message on their Facebook page: “Everyone is safe, including our neighbors. More details soon. Keep us in your thoughts…”