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Aug 20 2023
Lauri Carleton, A Designer & LGBTQ Ally, Was Shot Dead — Apparently For Displaying A Pride Flag Comments (0)

Lauri-carleton-boycultureCarleton (Image via Freshers Live)

Lauri Carleton, 66, a designer with a storefront near Lake Arrowhead in California, was shot and killed Friday evening — apparently because the LGBTQ ally displayed a Pride flag in front of her Mag Pi store.

She was a popular designer and mother of nine children.

A 27-year-old man allegedly tore down the flag, and when Carleton confronted him, he shot her dead. He then escaped on foot, was found by deputies, and was in turn shot dead himself. He has not yet been IDed. I'd like to know why. From the police report:

Through further investigation, detectives learned the suspect made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton. 

Her close friend, Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, wrote on Instagram:

Our wonderful friend Lauri Carlton (seen in this picture) was murdered yesterday in her store @magpi_shopin Lake Arrowhead by a 27 year old man who didn’t like that she had a large pride flag hanging outside of her shop. He ripped it down and when she confronted him about it he shot and killed her. We are all devastated for her husband Bort and her family and the LGBTQ+ community, for whom Lauri was such a true ally. Her alleged murderer was later shot and killed by the San Bernardino police and so no longer poses a threat to the community. But this intolerance has to end. Anyone using hateful language against the LGBTQ+ community has to realize their words matter, that their words can inspire violence against innocent loving people. Let’s all keep moving forward with tolerance and love. Let’s not let Lauri’s tragic death be in vain.

A commenter on Feig's post wrote:

Her store was really cool, I was so excited when she opened Magpai and I saw all her flags, I asked her if she if she had been harassed over them, lots of bigots in that area, she said yes she’d been harassed but that she would not stop putting up her flags, her flags were beautiful they were inclusive for all and they represented love and tolerance. So there is a backstory to this senseless tragedy.

This is turning into a war against LGBTQ people — and our allies. It's all being telegraphed by right-wingers, including mainstream GOP politicians and pop cultural figures, many of whom have embraced the toxic idea that LGBTQ people are groomers who are after people's kids. We want the kids who will invariably grow up to be LGBTQ not to hate/kill themselves, and we would like all the other kids to grow up not to hate/kill them, either. That's the grooming.

Statement and stats from GLAAD:

Our hearts are broken for Laura Ann (Lauri) Carleton, her community, and her loved ones. The tragic, targeted killing of Lauri over the Pride flag displayed at her Lake Arrowhead store was senseless and, unfortunately, part of a growing number of attacks on LGBTQ people and our allies. GLAAD and the ADL have tracked more than 350 anti-LGBTQ threats and attacks this year, coinciding with a disturbing increase in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation across the country.

No one should feel unsafe or be attacked for who they are or for simply supporting the LGBTQ community. Lauri’s murder is the latest example of how anti-LGBTQ hatred hurts everyone, whether they are LGBTQ or not. We know a supermajority of Americans support LGBTQ people, and this horrific act of violence is not indicative of American values.

Read more from Laura’s local community and follow @lakearrowheadlgbtq on Instagram for forthcoming vigil information:

Read more on anti-LGBTQ attacks here:

Read more about record support for LGBTQ people here: