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WATCH: Nebraska Man Steals and Burns Lesbian Couple's Pride Flag

WATCH: Nebraska Man Steals and Burns Lesbian Couple's Pride Flag

WATCH: Nebraska Man Steals and Burns Lesbian Couple's Pride Flag

The suspect's father insists his son was not trying to be hateful.

Early Sunday morning in Omaha, Nebraska, Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson and their two daughters awoke to the theft and burning of their rainbow gay pride flag. The suspect currently in custody is 23-year old Cameron Mayfield, who was reported by his father in an interview with local station WOWT to have lost his job recently and to have been drinking. The man, a neighbor of the couple, was seen driving away from their house in his van and was later spotted in the street with the smoldering remnants of the flag.

Mayfield’s father told reporters that his son would remain in jail until his arraignment, but that he didn’t believe his son was trying to be hateful and that it was “just a coincidence that what he stole and burned was that gay pride flag.” Mayfield is being held for resisting arrest and second-degree arson, a felony. There has been no word yet about the possibility for this to be classified as a hate-motivated crime. As Anderson said in an interview with a local news station, “it goes beyond vandalism or a threat…that’s a direct attack.”

The Anderson family has dealt with the incident gracefully, even expressing sympathy for the ramifications of Mayfield’s thoughtless actions. Rather than dwell on this incident, they are looking toward the future, according to WOWT.  Originally married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2009, they hope to be married in their home state of Nebraska and are celebrating the striking down of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The stolen flag has already been replaced with one even bolder, a testament to the resilience of this couple and their community, according to the news report. 

 

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Stuart Mcdonald