Vienna gives traffic signals "gay" makeover to promote tolerance

VIENNA (WLS) -- Vienna, Austria, has changed the traffic signals at 120 pedestrian crossings to show either straight or gay couples as signs of the city's tolerance. Normally, the signals show a single stick figure man.

Some of the new signals show a man and a woman. Others, two women and others, two men. All couples are complete with hearts.

The city says the new signals are also part of an experiment aimed at raising traffic awareness. City officials say the new signals are at junctions where pedestrians typically ignore the red lights, and they want to test if the new signals change the public's behavior.

The crossing signals will stay up until June. Vienna hosts several events focused on tolerance during that time, including the Eurovision Song Contest and the Life Ball, Europe's biggest charity event for AIDS and HIV research.

The right-wing Freedom Party has criticized the signs but other Viennese loved the idea.

Clemens Bendtner says they draw attention to "the topic of equality."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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