Vandals deface San Francisco mural depicting gay, lesbian and transgender Latinos

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Vandals defaced a mural in San Francisco's Mission District that depicted gay, lesbian and transgender Latinos.

But an identical mural is going up in its place.

"It's not right. I wish all people could learn to live together and respect each other," Mission resident Cheryl Bingham said of the vandalism.

Volunteers spent much of Thursday removing the defaced digital mural. It was unveiled last Friday and vandalized three days later.

"I felt disappointed that was the reaction," said Ani Rivera director of Galeria de la Raza which sponsored the mural.

The mural showed lesbian and gay couples and a transgender man and was in no way sexually suggestive.

"A lesbian couple, a trans man, and two gay men in just a loving embrace," described Rivera.

Vandals used blue and red paint to cover over portions of the mural.

Rivera says before the vandalism the mural had sparked hate speech and threats on social media. She believes it's coming from within a faction of the Latino community that does not accept gay people.

"It's a faction of our community that is homophobic. Let's call it for what it is. And we need to do a lot of work to grow people's hearts," Rivera said.

Artists in the mission say the vandalism is hurtful.

"The most painful for me is the brown on brown hate. I don't want to fight with other people of color," said Amy Martinez.

By late afternoon the exact same mural was going back up.

The mural is printed on paper then glued onto the wall in sections, much like applying wallpaper.

The gallery has extra copies, and was able to replace it quickly.

The vandalism is being reported as a hate crime.