Gay-themed traffic lights have been introduced to Austria’s capital city, host of next week’s Eurovision Song Contest. Reuters reports that pedestrian crossings in central Vienna have been altered to show male or female couples with hearts replacing the usual single, gender-neutral figure.
A spokeswoman for the city lighting department said the move was designed to “present Vienna as an open-minded city.” In addition to capitalising on the influx of gay tourists in town to attend the annual musical event, she claimed the move is also intended to improve road safety by using the unusual symbols to attract the attention of pedestrians and drivers. After the event the city will collate data to see if the move helped or hindered in that effort.
The Austrian capital won the honour of hosting the famously camp music contest in its 60th anniversary year following the victory of bearded tranvestite diva Conchita Wurst in Copenhagen in 2014. Pink News reports that Vienna is not the first host city to use the Eurovision Song Contest as a gay rights platform, a number of same-sex weddings marked the international event last year in Denmark.