Sydney’s popular Rainbow Crossing on Oxford Street that designates the gay pride crossing in Australia’s largest city is to get a facelift and disappear, local media reported on Tuesday.
The New South Wales government and its Roads and Maritime Service has demanded the city spend some $35,000 to remove the rainbow flag, popularly known as Rainbow Crossing, because they claim it is a safety concern.
Ironically, police in Sydney have made no such argument, saying instead that the flag is a positive reminder of the city’s LGBT community.
The announcement came even as some 15,000 people signed a petition organized by MP Alex Greenwich to allow the crossing to remain as it has become a tourist point of interest.
The Rainbow Crossing was painted during the lead up to Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival.
However, New South Wales Department of Roads claimed that, as some people had taken photos of themselves lying on the crossing, it encouraged unsafe behavior.
“New South Wales Benefits to the tune of over $30 Million dollars during the Mardi Gras Festival,” Greenwich said.
“Enforcing the removal an iconic tourist attraction that honors the LGBTI community would be a short-sighted and mean spirited move.”
“In light of the footage of a policing incidents at Mardi Gras that made global headlines, we need to do everything we can to show Sydney celebrates our gay and lesbian community.”
Either way, the crossing is going to be removed.