A rainbow crosswalk will be installed at 30th Avenue and 31st Street in downtown Vernon.

A rainbow crosswalk will be installed at 30th Avenue and 31st Street in downtown Vernon.

Vernon rainbow crosswalk gets endorsement

Okanagan Pride Society calls for communities to be inclusive

The City of Vernon is garnering praise for proceeding with a rainbow crosswalk.

Council recently voted to install an eight-colour crosswalk at 30th Avenue and 31st Street.

“Rainbow crosswalks have become a simple, economical, physical way for Canadian cities to express support for diverse, inclusive communities,” said Dustyn Baulkham, president of the Okanagan Pride Society.

“We were delighted when the City of Kelowna created the rainbow crosswalks here and transformed a city intersection in summer 2015. It’s great to see another community within the Okanagan taking the same steps and showing support and solidarity for the LGBTQ community.”

While the rainbow has become an international symbol associated with the LGBTQ movement, Baulkham says the symbolism extends beyond sexuality.

“The stripes of the historical flag — originally eight colours — symbolized life, healing, sunlight, nature, spirit, serenity, sexuality, and art,” he said.

Rainbow crosswalks can be found in several communities throughout B.C.

“This is about diversity and inclusiveness and the crosswalks are a reflection of the communities in which we all live today,” said Baulkham.

“Unfortunately, there is still some discrimination towards the LGBTQ community, particularly vulnerable groups such as youth, bisexual and the transgender communities. Rainbow crosswalks are an easy, public way our cities can show these individuals they are supported and welcome regardless of who they love.”