Hateful signs near Lexington's rainbow crosswalk were some of many recently

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Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 10:07:01-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Police have taken down controversial signs spotted Wednesday afternoon in the city's downtown area.

But the series of hateful signs posted near Lexington's rainbow crosswalk were not isolated.

LEX 18 viewers shared nine photos of similar signs on Facebook.

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“Our world is hateful enough without us being hateful to each other,” said J.D. Elam, a long-time patron at Crossings, a gay bar a few steps away from the intersection many of the posters referenced.

Elam has seen in his lifetime enough hateful acts that he’s able to brush it off.

Police are investigating the posters. They removed two posters at the intersection of Main and Limestone.

"The city does not tolerate offensive language," said Susan Straub, Director of Communications for Mayor Linda Gorton's office. "Police are aware and are conducting follow-up."

Incidents of hate for multiple groups, including members of the LGBTQ community, have been on the rise in recent years across the nation, said Chris Hartman of the Fairness Campaign.

“Unfortunately, I think this is someone with far too much time on their hands and too much hate in their heart,” Hartman said. “LGBTQ rights are under attack at historic levels.

Just a few weeks ago, anti-LGBTQ graffiti was left on Crossings and The Bar Complex, another gay bar in Lexington.

It’s important for police to find out who is behind the posters in part so they can determine if the person may plan to escalate to violence, Elam said.

“It is in the back of our minds but are we going to be afraid. No,” Elam said. “ We’re still going to be here, we’re not going to run and hide, we’re not going to run and be scared. We are here so get used to it.”