EDITORIAL: When colours are covered

Recent incident of vandalism show need for rainbow crosswalks

The vandalism of a rainbow crosswalk in Coldstream on the weekend shows once again why such crosswalks are still needed today.

The crosswalk, installed in 2017, was done as a way to show support for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

The colours are based on the rainbow flag, used as an LGBTQ2 pride flag since the late 1970s.

READ ALSO: Coldstream rainbow crosswalk defaced

READ ALSO: Rainbow crosswalk shines in Coldstream

This segment of the population has often been marginalized or the target of discrimination.

Overnight on Saturday, the crosswalk in Coldstream was vandalized and the colourful bars were painted over with white paint.

This is not the first time a rainbow crosswalk has been vandalized in British Columbia.

Other incidents have occurred in Salmon Arm, Surrey, New Westminster and other communities.

And while Summerland’s rainbow crosswalks, in place since September, 2015, have not been vandalized, they have been the subject of some controversy.

At the time they were installed in the downtown area, some asked why this show of support for the LGBTQ2 community was needed.

READ ALSO: Crosswalks painted in rainbow colours

Others questioned the estimated $3,900 cost of the crosswalks, suggesting such an expense was a waste of taxpayer dollars. (The cost of these crosswalks was far less than one-tenth of one per cent of the municipality’s budget at the time.)

One person at the time went as far as to state he or she would take different routes in order not to drive across a rainbow crosswalk.

A level of anger or disgust is present.

While angry commenters and crosswalk vandals may be a small minority, their presence is noticeable.

Everyone has the right to their opinions on rainbow crosswalks, even if such opinions are unpopular.

However, when the opinions show up as vandalism, it is no longer about simply disagreeing with a rainbow crosswalk.

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