The rainbow doors at United Christian Church of Renton were run over and heavily damaged by an unknown driver. This isn’t the first time the pro-LGBTQ+ church has been vandalized. (Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing)

The rainbow doors at United Christian Church of Renton were run over and heavily damaged by an unknown driver. This isn’t the first time the pro-LGBTQ+ church has been vandalized. (Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing)

Pro-LGBTQ+ Renton church display vandalized by unidentified driver

United Christian Church of Renton’s signature rainbow doors were heavily damaged over the weekend

Sometime before 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, the rainbow doors that adorn the grass in front of the United Christian Church (UCC) of Renton were run over and heavily damaged by an unidentified driver.

The rainbow doors — enhanced with the message “On Earth as in Heaven God’s doors are open to all!” — have been a staple of the church, which is known for being pro-LGBTQ+ and progressive.

“All of it’s destroyed, so it’ll be a project to get them back up again,” said UCC Rev. Cynthia Meyer, who has been with the church for five years. “It reminds us why the messages are needed.”

The destruction of the doors were first noticed by Fairwood resident Megan Otis, who was driving by the church Saturday morning.

“Seeing those doors outside and the message that they stand for has been really heartening for me, especially since I had to experience some religious trauma against the LGBTQ community as a teenager,” Otis said. “And so just the existence of these rainbow doors have been kind of heartening for me and healing, and to see them knocked over and vandalized so many times, because this is not even the first time that this has happened … it just breaks my heart every time.”

According to Meyer, the rainbow doors had been vandalized and knocked over a few times in the past, with the most serious incident involving two small explosives placed on the doors in the summer of 2019, which the pastor said was considered a federal hate crime.

“This is certainly the most serious recent incident, as it appears someone drove up onto the grass and into the display,” she said.

The damage done to the doors comes two months after an anti-LGBTQ+ bomb threat was made to Brewmaster’s Taproom in Renton, which hosts monthly Drag Queen Story Time and Bingo events, and nearly a year after a projectile was shot into the Taproom’s window.

“I know that they have had so many instances of vandalism with these remote doors and then just on top of that, having all of the issues down the street with the Taproom and their Drag Bingo, it just feels like our poor little Renton community has had more than its fair share of homophobia and hate crimes. And I’m just tired of it,” Otis said.

After speaking with police Saturday afternoon, Meyer said that she would talk with the church’s leadership, and that they would work to get the doors replaced, just like they had before.

“I’m sure we’ll get this cleaned up and as soon as we can, we’ll have a new set of doors made and get them back up because we think the message is so important and we want to keep it out there. We don’t want to give in to those who don’t understand or, for some reason, are against a message of love and inclusion for all people,” Meyer said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Men serving halal food on Eid Mubarak 2024. Photo By Joshua Solorzano/Federal Way Mirror
Washington state passes Halal Food Consumer Protection Act

Federal Way Muslim activist details how this bill came about and why it is important

t
Head-on collision kills 31-year-old woman in Auburn

The fatal collision occurred May 11 in the area of I Street Northeast in north Auburn.

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Reyna Hernandez (right) with her mother. Photo Courtesy of Ivonne Carillo-Hernandez
Friends of Renton’s Reyna Hernandez detail her cheerful character

Friends in Renton considered her family and saw some warning signs of abuse prior to her murder.

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Man receives one month jail sentence in fatal Renton hit-and-run

2020 crash killed 16-year-old boy on motorcycle along Interstate 405; mother objects to plea deal

t
Investigators bust drug trafficking operation in King County

Thousands of fentanyl pills reportedly were kept at a Federal Way storage facility.

t
Is state school board association seeing a conservative takeover?

Anonymous members say changes in the group’s voting rules are allowing anti-LGBTQIA+ measures

t
Man charged with first-degree murder of Renton businesswoman

Accused Louis Hernandez was Reyna Hernandez’s partner, according to Renton Police.

Food in a foam takeout container. Sound Publishing file photo
Foam coolers, takeout containers will be banned in WA

The prohibition on the sale and distribution of these products will take effect June 1 under a law the Legislature approved in 2021.

t
Federal Way Public Market concept receives $75,000 for study

The home of the envisioned project is off South 320th Street and 23rd Avenue South.

t
Suspected DUI crash in Renton injures three; cars engulfed in flames

Wrong-way driver incident along Interstate 405 on April 14