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Vienna’s gay traffic lights will not be taken down in June

Vienna’s gay traffic lights will not be taken down in June

Vienna’s gay-themed traffic lights will not be removed in June but are set to become a permanent sight in the Austrian capital.

Maria Vassilakou, Vienna’s councilor for transport matters, shared the news on her Facebook page yesterday, quoting the attention and support the traffic lights received.

In her post, Vassilakou said the traffic lights – showing gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples at dozens of crossings throughout the city – ‘do not only have thousands of fans on Facebook but have become a popular sight to include in pictures’.

She claimed they have also already reached cult status, not just in Vienna.

‘This is brilliant for the acceptance of lesbian and gay couples, but also for Vienna’s tourism,’ she said.

‘This is why we decided to keep the new symbols.’

Although most of the comments are supportive, some users accused the council of ‘wasting taxpayers’ money’ while other said the council should not consider what foreign people think, but ask the opinion of Austrians.

The right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria filed a charge against Vassilakou because, in their eyes, the lights are a waste of money and a ‘knowingly installed danger to road safety’; the Austrian People’s Party’s chair, Manfred Juraczka, reportedly called the lights ‘pathetic’.

Media outlets from all over the world, including CNN and the BBC, picked up on the traffic lights when they were first installed in a bid to present Vienna as an open-minded city ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest held on 23 May.