The mayor of Paris has announced that a number of pedestrian crossings painted in rainbow colors for last Saturday’s Gay Pride march will become a permanent fixture of the Parisian landscape.
The city had painted rainbow-colored crosswalks on roads in Paris’s Marais district, a neighborhood replete with gay bars and restaurants, in anticipation of the upcoming Gay Pride march.
“Today I am making a symbolic decision: we will make the rainbow pedestrian crossings that we installed in the Marais permanent,” said Mayor Anne Hidalgo late last week, adding that it would send a “positive signal” and would be a “welcome message” for visitors to the neighborhood.
Hidalgo later tweeted out the message: “Paris is a city of refuge that embraces the Republican values of freedom, equality and fraternity. So as to etch these values in her walls forever, the rainbow pedestrian walkways created for the Pride March will be permanent!”
#Paris est une ville refuge qui fait sienne les valeurs républicaines de liberté, d’égalité et de fraternité. Pour qu’elles s’inscrivent à jamais en ses murs, les passages piétons arc-en-ciel créés pour la #MarcheFesFiertés seront permanents ! #ParisEstFière #LGBT ️♥️ pic.twitter.com/do6lJoTZWm
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) June 27, 2018
Hidalgo, who has been hailed as especially “gay-friendly” ever since taking office, also announced that two more pedestrian crossings will be added to those adorned with the rainbow colors.
Saturday’s Gay Pride march began in the early afternoon at Place de la Concorde before heading along Rue de Rivoli past the Louvre and then on to Place de la Republique, where the festivities continued into the evening.
Prior to the march, several of the rainbow crossings were defaced with graffiti, one bearing the words “LGBT out of France.”
Another spray-painted message read, “Hidalgo: Back down.”
Hidalgo reacted by tweeting her support for the LGBT community and assuring swift justice for those responsible for the vandalism.
“This homophobia will not go unpunished,” she said. “The Prosecutor of the Republic will be brought in. Civil servants will proceed with the clean up this morning.”
Among the many reactions, Joël Deumer, president of the Association SOS Homophobia, reiterated the importance of “the visibility of our battles in the public space” and then cited a remarkably precise statistic, that “43 percent of LGBT people avoid holding hands with their partner in the street for fear of aggression.”
On Monday, Mayor Hidalgo again tweeted out her support for the LGBT community, denouncing anti-gay graffiti that appeared over the weekend on the doors of a Paris apartment and was subsequently posted on social media.
“These stupid and hateful actions have no place in Paris,” she said.
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