A Pride flag that hung in the window of an Oregon library was the apparent target of BB gunfire amid Pride month and a growing wave of anti-LGBTQ+ measures from US legislatures.

In a Facebook statement on Wednesday, the Newberg public library in Newberg, Oregon, said that around 7.10pm, a BB gun was fired at a window on the south-east corner of the library. A picture showed a shattered window, behind which a Pride flag hung.

“The original 1912 glass is still intact. The new protective glass installed with grant funds in January 2024 has been shattered. It is likely the shot was fired from 99W,” the library said.

Following the incident, the Newberg-Dundee police department said that in addition to vandalism, there were “concerns that the suspect(s) possibly had a biased intent because a Pride flag was displayed directly behind the vandalized window”.

On Friday, the police department announced that detectives were able to identify the suspect as a juvenile. It added that an investigation determined that the juvenile had acted alone, and that the person cooperated with detectives and was arrested. The case has been referred to the Yamhill county juvenile department for prosecution, according to the police department.

Newberg’s mayor, Bill Rosacker, condemned the incident, saying: “The act was an attack on the citizens of Newberg and will not be allowed to pass without consequences.”

“In Newberg, all people are treated equally,” Rosacker added. “We will not tolerate acts against any legal display of any sort. The simple fact that this attack was perpetrated against our library, which only exists because of and to protect our first amendment right to express our opinions without the fear of retribution, is abhorrent.”

The incident follows a string of anti-LGBTQ+ incidents during Pride month. On Friday, the Oregon city of Bend said that a rainbow-colored crosswalk, which had been painted for the month of Pride and was defaced within 24 hours, will be made permanent.

Meanwhile, the chair of Colorado’s Republican party is facing resignation calls after the state organization sent out an email with a subject line that said “God Hates Pride” and accused LGBTQ+ communities of being “godless groomers” who were out to “harm children”.

And in Carlisle, Massachusetts, last week, police investigated the theft of more than 200 Pride flags just days before Pride month started.

The string of incidents comes amid heightened discrimination against LGBTQ+ communities across the US. A poll released by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute in March has revealed that public support for same-sex marriage and non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ communities has declined.

Support for same-sex marriage has declined from 69% to 67% in the last year, the poll revealed, adding that Americans aged 18 to 29 showed a gradual decrease in support for LGBTQ+ non-discrimination laws over the last three years. In 2020, the support stood at 83% whereas it dipped to 75% in 2023.

So far in 2024, there have been at least 515 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.