A Chicago-area location of famously LGBT-friendly restaurant chain Hamburger Mary’s responded on Tuesday to an act of antigay vandalism that took place over the weekend.
According to LGBTQ Nation, someone spray painted the phrase “DIE F*GS” on an interior door at the restaurant. Owner Ashley Wright told NBC affiliate WMAQ that at first he was just irritated, but then became angry as the reality of the violation sank in.
“My first reaction when I saw it was actually annoyed,” said Wright. “Literally a split second later it was just sort of this gut wrenching feeling.”
“This was someone who came into my house, my establishment,” he said, “and spray painted a hateful message to me and my customers and staff.”
Wright responded by painting a rainbow flag over the graffiti along with the word “love.”
“I’m just going to have fun with this and make this kind of a testament to — a shrine if you will — to acceptance and diversity,” he said.
Cameras at the restaurant filmed the perpetrator — who is believed to be a woman — entering and leaving the premises. Wright said the video has been handed over to local police, who are prosecuting the incident as a hate crime.
Hamburger Mary’s is an LGBT-themed chain of restaurants founded in San Francisco in 1972. The company typically opens its locations in heavily LGBT areas and promotes itself as “an open-air bar and grill for open-minded people.”
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