Man who burned Pride flag in Ames to be charged with a hate crime

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AMES — A man who was arrested for burning a LGBTQ Pride flag he’d taken from a local church last week will be charged with a hate crime.

The Des Moines Register on Monday reported that Adolfo Martinez, 30, of Ames is charged with harassment and reckless use of fire.

Last week, Martinez allegedly tore the flag down from the doorway of Ames United Church of Christ, took it to a nearby “gentlemen’s club” and set it on fire.

From the Des Moines Register:

Martinez admitted to police that he lit the banner on fire with lighter fluid and a lighter after stealing it from the church, according to court documents.

Ames United pastor says Martinez targeted the church’s pride flag.

“He is very much opposed to our support of queer people,” Pastor Eileen Gebbie said last week.

Gebbie said Thursday that Martinez’s actions and words “reveal the depth of homo-, trans-, and queerphobia in our ‘Iowa nice’ community.”

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