Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


The War on Gay Christmas: Vandals Tear Down Church's Same-Sex Nativity Scene

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

Vandals have torn down a gay nativity scene at a church this weekend, and local investigators are treating the incident as a hate crime.

The nativity scene portrayed at Claremont United Methodist Church isn't traditional at all: there are no shepherds, no virginal Mary and no baby Jesus — just three modern-looking silhouettes of couples that appear to be gay, lesbian and straight with the words "Christ is Born" and the Star of Bethlehem overhead.

The church's reverend Dan Lewis explained the thinking behind the nativity scene to KTLA: "We do believe that Christ is in the world for the outcasts and not for the privileged and so each year we want to represent that through our nativity scene."

The vandal knocked down the same-sex couples and left the heterosexual couple standing, which leads the church and investigators to believe that, yes, the vandals were specifically offended by the gayness of the nativity scene. That surprised the reverend because Claremont is a progressive college town. Of course, this being a progressive college town, the church has decided to leave the vandalized nativity as-is calling it "an evolving piece of artwork."

Support for LAist comes from

This isn't the first time someone tried to "de-gay" Christmas: a music teacher in Michigan removed the word "gay" from "Deck the Halls," which inspired Conan O'Brien to come up with a new canon of totally straight Christmas carols.