Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has said that a pair of rainbow crossings will become permanent after incidents of vandalism that included homophobic messages scribbled over the display.
The crossings were installed for Paris Pride – Marche des Fiertés, which took place on June 30th. In the week leading up, the rainbow crossings were defaced twice. On June 25 and June 28, vandals covered the crossings with paint and homophobic messages saying “LGBT get out of France” and “LGBT dictatorship”.
In the second incident of vandalism, the unidentified individuals also wrote “Hidalgo dégage” which means “Hidalgo get out”- an attack directed towards the mayor.
Mayor Hidalgo and others condemned the messages of hate and the graffiti was promptly removed.
“Paris is a safe haven that embraces the republican values of freedom, equality and fraternity,” she posted on Twitter.
#Paris est une ville refuge qui fait sienne les valeurs républicaines de liberté, d’égalité et de fraternité. Pour qu’elles s’inscrivent à jamais en ses murs, les passages piétons arc-en-ciel créés pour la #MarcheFesFiertés seront permanents ! #ParisEstFière #LGBT ?️?♥️ pic.twitter.com/do6lJoTZWm
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) June 27, 2018
“The homophobic degradation of our city’s rainbow decorations is unacceptable,” said openly gay Deputy Mayor Bruno Julliard. “This new manifestation of hideous hatred will only strengthen our determination to fight against discrimination without fail.”
Hidalgo also shared a video of city workers cleaning the rainbow crossings and removing the graffiti with a jet-wash.
“Thanks to the agents of the City of Paris, already on the ground to once again clean the rainbow pedestrian crossings of the Marais,” she tweeted.
Some residents of Paris shared pictures of the vandalism. One tweeted, “These homophobic tags are a reflection of all the discrimination and violence faced by LGBTQIs everywhere in France and in the world, we will fight them relentlessly.”
More recently, Hidalgo retweeted messages of love and support from Parisians. She has also stated that more rainbow crossings will be placed throughout Paris after the homophobic crimes.
This isn’t the first time cities have fired back at vandalism targeted at LGBT+ and rainbow themed landmarks. In early June, an “unbreakable” rainbow made its debut in Warsaw, after the original was destroyed numerous times.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.