Linz scraps gay-themed traffic signals

Linz scraps gay-themed traffic signals
Photo: AFP
Gay-themed traffic signals in Linz aimed at promoting greater tolerance have been removed, the Austrian city's new far-right traffic official said on Monday.

“Traffic lights are for traffic and should not be misused to impart advice on how to live your life,” said Markus Hein from the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ).

Instead of the usual stick man, the special lights at pedestrian crossings show two figures: either a man or a woman, two men or two women, holding hands, together with a little heart symbol.

They were first installed temporarily in Vienna for the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year but proved so popular that they were made permanent and spread to Salzburg and to Linz.

Hein, whose populist party is topping opinion polls in Austria, said that the lights were “completely unnecessary” and did nothing to promote rights for gay people, which he said were already well advanced.

His party lodged a criminal complaint in May against the Vienna councillor who organized the lights.