Police say eight houses in Blaine, Minn., were vandalized on Monday night, and all of them had "Vote No" signs on their lawns.
The vandals spray-painted the yard signs and a few garage doors with images of male and female genitals. Five cases of vandalism were reported overnight, but that number grew to eight along a 12-block stretch of Raddison Road by noon Tuesday.
The "Vote No" signs are part of the Minnesotans United For All Families campaign against the marriage amendment. This November, Minnesota voters will be asked whether the state's constitution should be amended to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Residents say it would be simply disturbing if the signs were vandalized and not the homes themselves, but a police say political statement becomes a criminal act when homes are damaged and garage doors are ruined.
"Total disbelief, couldn't believe it," Kim Desoto told FOX 9 News. "I was mad, very upset. I knew when I put the sign up that there could be some stupid person out there, but when my phone rang at six o'clock, I figured it wasn't good news."
That call came from her neighbor, who said both the signs had been defaced, but the vandals didn't stop there. Both of their garage doors had also been spray-painted with images of genitals.
"You just feel very violated," explained Sherry Hill, whose home was vandalized as well. "I mean, this is our home and some stranger was on our property, vandalizing our home. This is our sacred area, our safety. You should be able to feel comfortable and safe in your own home."
A third neighbor down the street got hit by the vandals too, and they were out at 6 a.m. to start scrubbing the paint away, but they ruined the maintenance-free finish in the process just to make sure the lewd images wouldn't be on display all day.
"They didn't really care what it was going to do to the neighborhood, "Desoto said of the vandals. "All the kids were going to be out for school this morning and see what they did."
Both Desoto and Hill took the day off to repaint Hill's garage doors before the kids got home, but Desoto's door will need to be replaced entirely.
"There's nothing wrong with having a debate or discussion regarding your beliefs versus another person's beliefs, but you don't have a right to vandalize or terrorize anybody based on their belief," Hill said. "That's going over the line."
Authorities say whoever is responsible for the vandalism may face bias crime charges.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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