Parade Float Vandalism - A Hate Crime?

Pride Flag

Debates are raging all over the internets that the recent vandalism that occurred prior to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade should be treated as a Hate Crime.

Prior to Sunday's 42nd Annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade, vandals slashed the tires on 50+ floats destined for the parade.  Although the floats were secured when the float manufacturers left for the evening on Saturday, someone broke in and disabled every float by slashing 2 of the 4 tires on each float - not an easy task by any means - but done nonetheless.

So now the debate comes.....was the vandalism a hate crime because the floats were destined for an LGBT Pride Parade or is it just vandalism?  Of course some people are up in arms because how can you treat vandalism as a hate crime while others are saying that it should.

Of course most of the comments left on corresponding web posts quickly degenerate into the typical "gay bashing" that's expected while few voices actually discuss the topic at hand.  While the police are currently NOT investigating this as a hate crime because "no message" was left behind by the vandals.

What do you think?  Should this be considered a Hate Crime because the floats were for an LGBT parade or should it be considered property damage?

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