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Vienna introduces ‘gay’ traffic lights for Eurovision

By Will Stroude

Vienna has introduced special gay-themed traffic lights ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest, which kicks off in the Austrian capital later this month (May 19).

In celebration of the annual singing contest’s gay connotations, dozens of traffic lights in central Vienna have been programmed to show male or female gay couples instead of the usual single, gender-neutral figure.

A combination of photos shows gay-themed traffic lights in Vienna May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

A spokeswoman for the city lighting department said that the campaign has been designed to present Vienna as an open-minded city, and also to improve traffic safety by attracting extra attention from drivers and pedestrians, Reuters reports.

The city of Vienna will then collate data to see whether the campaign has indeed helped traffic safety, she added.

The move comes after the UK’s Eurovision host Graham Norton complained that this year’s competition would be “quite straight”, following the victory of Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst in Copenhagen last year.

The UK will be represented this year by boy-girl duo Electo Velvet, and their polarising entry Still in Love With You. Former Eurovision presenter Sarah Cawood recently wrote a column for Attitude offering her thoughts on our chances this year, accusing the BBC of getting the selection process “woefully wrong”.

The two Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals will take place on May 19 and 21, followed by the grand final on Saturday May 23.

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