Vienna traffic signals go red and green, gay and straight
VIENNA (AP) — Some Vienna pedestrian traffic lights are suddenly not only red or green. They're also gay or straight.
Over the past few days, the city started setting up lights at pedestrian crossings that show pairs of figures instead of the usual stick men. Some depict a man and a woman. Others, two women. Still others, two men. All couples are complete with hearts.
The lights are being erected at 47 crossings and will stay up until June. Vienna hosts several events linked to tolerance during that time, including the Life Ball, Europe's biggest charity event for AIDS and HIV research, and the Eurovision Song Contest, won last year by Austrian cross-dressing pop star Conchita Wurst.
Pedestrians were neutral to positive when asked Tuesday whether they liked the concept.
But not all Austrians are amused. The Freedom Party has announced it is lodging a criminal complaint against Vienna Councilwoman Maria Vassilakou, who is in charge of traffic issues in the city.
Party officials say the lights contravene traffic regulations and are a waste of taxpayers' money at a cost of $70,000.
The city in turn says that the lights conform to laws — and are meant not only to show tolerance. Municipal officials say they also hope the signals will draw more attention from pedestrians and reduce jay-walking.
Can't the city government find a better way to reduce jaywalking? And don't the gay and lesbian crossing signal mean that gays and lesbians are being singled out for committing a crime, the crime of jaywalking? In any event, it's another example of political correctness gone wild. Here's an idea: if you want to include all groups, and don't want to offend or exclude gays and lesbians, change the Walk/Don't Walk signs to show legs only--no male or female figures. Of course, then you'll be offending people who have no legs.
Extreme political correctness, hyper-sensitivity, is now applied to EVERYTHING. When does it end? How about when you're DEAD? Oops, we don't want to offend the dead--let's call them "permanent sleepers" instead.