LGBTQ activists in cities across the country are calling for city officials to create “rainbow crosswalks” to “honor the LGBTQ community.”
“Rainbow crosswalks” are public crosswalks that have been repainted in rainbow colors, which have been adopted by the LGBTQ community as a symbol of greater acceptance and rights for LGBTQ causes and beliefs.
Activists are urging local lawmakers to create the crosswalks through the use of petitions. Currently, one of the cities targeted is Chicago. A petition is now circulating there that has garnered more than 4,000 signatures. According to the petition’s text, “Some cities, like San Francisco, have made LGBTQ people feel more at home by creating permanent rainbow crosswalks to honor the LGBTQ community. … This is one small thing that could be done to signal to one of the most marginalized communities in the country that we are here for them, we see them, and we support them.”
Washington, D.C., already installed temporary rainbow crosswalks honoring transgender persons earlier this year, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced this week the city will make its rainbow crosswalks permanent following the circulation of a petition that amassed more than 22,000 signatures. Reed said the crosswalks would be featured year-round in part to honor those who lost their lives in the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.
“On June 12, 2016, amidst the celebration of Pride Month, 49 individuals lost their lives in an unspeakable tragedy in Orlando, Florida,” Reed said in a press release. “Today, on the anniversary of this horrific event, we remember those whose lives were lost and those that were forever changed. Our thoughts and prayers were with you then, and they remain with you today.”
Philadelphia and San Francisco already have permanent rainbow crosswalks of their own, and petitions are now also circulating in and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Milwaukee and New York City to install similar crosswalks, all of which would presumably be paid for by taxpayers.