This City Hit The Brakes On LGBT-Friendly Crossing Lights

Photo: Joerg Koch/Getty Images.
When Vienna, Austria, added same-sex couples to its pedestrian crossing lights in May, international LGBT rights activists were thrilled.

Other cities in Austria and across Europe followed suit, adding same-sex silhouettes to the lights as well. But now, the city of Linz has taken the LGBT-friendly figures out of the crossing signals, to appease a member of Austria's conservative Freedom Party.

Markus Hein, Linz's transport councillor and a member of the Freedom Party, told BBC News that "traffic lights are for traffic and should not be misused to impart advice on how to live your life."

Hein told BBC News that the same-sex crossing lights are "completely unnecessary."

Austrians who support LGBT rights aren't happy with the city's decision, though. Severin Mayr, a lawmaker for Austria's Green Party, told Austria's Kurier that the city's decision to take down the signals was "shameful." Mayr explained that while the cities that adopted the crossing lights "promote openness and peaceful coexistence," Linz has done the opposite by removing them.

Even Linz's mayor doesn't agree with Hein's decision to remove the signals. Mayor Klaus Luger said in a press release that the same-sex crossing lights are "a symbol for equality" and present Linz as a "modern city." Luger said in the statement that removing the crossing lights "gives the impression that Linz is a petty town."

The same-sex signals are still in place at 47 crossings in Vienna.

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