11:24 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Traffic lights showing female same-sex couples in Vienna

    Vienna's Gay Traffic Lights Infuriate Right-wing Politicians

    © AFP 2019 / DIETER NAGL
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    Austria's right-wing party has filed a criminal complaint against Vienna council member Maria Vassilakou, shortly after the introduction in the city of new pedestrian crossing lights depicting straight, gay and lesbian couples.

    A criminal complaint has been lodged by Austria's right-wing Freedom party (FPÖ) against Vienna council member Maria Vassilakou, who is in charge of traffic issues in the city; the complaint came after the introduction of new pedestrian crossing lights showing straight, gay and lesbian couples, the Swedish news website the Local reports.

    FPÖ officials insist that the new crossing lights allegedly contravene traffic regulations and are nothing but a waste of taxpayers’ money given the cost of 70,000 dollars.

    FPÖ transport spokesman Toni Mahdalik, for his part, said that the money would have been better spent on grappling with poverty and unemployment in the country.

    But Vassilakou in turn said that the new lights are perfectly legal and will hopefully reduce road accidents and jay-walking.

    As for pedestrians, they remained neutral toward the new idea of the lights which were installed at 47 crossings and will stay up until June.

    One commenter, Clemens Bendtner, was quoted as saying that "this is a great idea," and that "the topic of equality and equal treatment is a very important issue, and it is getting some attention through the campaign."

    The new crossing lights were introduced amid Austria's preparations for hosting a spate of events concerning topics of tolerance, scheduled for later this month.

    These include the Life Ball, Europe’s biggest charity event for Aids and HIV research, as well as the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, won by cross-dressing Austrian singer Conchita Wurst last year.

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    Tags:
    gay couples, pedestrians, traffic regulations, crossing lights, complaint, Freedom Party, Austria
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