Iowa man steals, burns LGBTQ banner

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AMES, Iowa (KCCI) - An Iowa man charged with burning an Ames church's LGBTQ pride banner says he has no regrets.

Courtesy: KCCI

Police say 30-year-old Adolfo Martinez stole the banner from the Ames United Church of Christ and set it on fire outside of a bar, according to KCCI.

The church's senior minister said police had already made the arrest by the time she and church staff noticed the banner was missing that morning.

Martinez says he will not fight the charges.

"It was an honor to do that. It's a blessing from the Lord," Martinez said. "It is a judgment and it is written to execute vengeance on the heathen and punishment upon the people.

The Story County Attorney's office says they are looking into hate crime charges.

"We believe God is still speaking to us through the Bible and through each other," said Eileen Gebbie, the senior pastor of Ames United Church of Christ. "Through prayer and through worship. And because of that, we've been able to get to a place where we can affirm all of God's children, including queer people.

The Story County Attorney's Office said it's looking into hate crime charges.