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    This Town Hung Up Pride Flags To Support A Lesbian Couple Whose Home Was Vandalized

    “The love that our neighbors and the world has shown us has completely transformed what this situation would have felt like to us."

    After returning home from vacation last weekend, Cari and Lauri Ryding of Natick, Massachusetts found their home had been vandalized. A pride flag — which they had placed over their door following the tragic events in Orlando — had been stolen, and the front of their house had been pelted with eggs.

    Cari Ryding, 49, told BuzzFeed News she first moved to her home in Natick over 20 years ago. "My wife I married four years ago and she moved in about four and a half years ago. We have never felt unwelcome in my neighborhood," Cari said.

    "When we discovered the flag on Friday, we were both disillusioned and confused. We didn't want to believe that it was an attack on us," Cari said. It wasn't until the next morning the couple noticed the egg shells all over the door. "Our hearts sank because we were no long confused. We knew it was an attack and we were reeling with questions."

    According to WCVB, the couple filed a police report fearing there might be another incident.

    But when the news of the apparent vandalism spread through town, something amazing happened. One by one, rainbow pride flags started popping up all over the neighborhood.

    Facebook: lauri.ryding

    "It was when I shared the vandalism on Facebook that people got into action around getting flags, distributing them, and hanging them," explained Cari.

    A group of neighborhood children delivered rainbow flags, provided by the Rainbow Peace Project, to house after house on their bicycles. The Ryder's neighbors have now put out over forty flags.

    “It just happened so quickly — the whole neighborhood said, ‘Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag,’” Penni Rochwerger, a neighbor of the Rydings, told The Boston Globe. “If we can stop whatever hate is out there, I think that’s really important.”

    "I can't speak," Lauri said of her community's response during an emotional interview with WCVB. "It's overwhelming."

    "It has been profound and healing," Cari said of the outpouring of response, both from their neighbors and people on the internet who have heard the story.

    The couple even put together a "visual tour" of all the flags around the neighborhood on YouTube:

    View this video on YouTube

    "The love that our neighbors and the world has shown us has completely transformed what this situation would have felt like to us," Cari added. "We aren't scared. We are uplifted and proud to live in a community of people that take a stand for equality and diversity."