One huge step forward

by Ingrid Robeyns on June 26, 2013

This one is for our American friends.


The City of Utrecht, where I live, recently decided to make this Rainbow Crossing in order to make explicit that it wants to be a city where gays are equally welcome as straight people. I took this picture a week ago and wanted to post it next Saturday when Utrecht celebrates Pink Saturday. But I think today is more appropriate. Congratulations to all American Gay activists for this huge step forward in their struggle for genuine equal rights, respect and recognition.



Kenny Easwaran 06.26.13 at 7:22 pm

I’ve seen the crosswalks in West Hollywood, but that’s neat that they also exist in a city that wasn’t explicitly founded as a gay haven:


MPAVictoria 06.26.13 at 9:02 pm

It is nice to get some good news for a change.


Alan 06.26.13 at 9:46 pm

Good news indeed and thanks so much. One thing this result highlights for us in the US: the importance of Presidential elections for the long-term health of justice. The decision was 5-4 and right along ideological lines ensconced in the politicization of the nomination process beginning in earnest with Reagan. Obama is highly flawed, granted, but he will not nominate a conservative justice who might send the balance of the court over to those 4 dissenters. (I know Kennedy can be a real flier, but you knew before the fact how the minority 4 would vote.)


CR 06.26.13 at 9:51 pm

This is a small step forward. Now we need to work to end the marriage discrimination that still exists against single people. No more preferences for couples alone! Single-Americans, with no desire to marry, ought to have the same rights as those Dual-Americans who prefer to live in pairs. Just because I was born with a preference for solitude does not mean my right to equal treatment should be trampled by those who prefer to live in the company with others. Singles, unite!


parsimon 06.27.13 at 12:54 am

Thank you, Ingrid.


etseq 06.27.13 at 1:43 am

Thanks Ingrid!


common reader 06.27.13 at 2:04 am

There are two minorities of four on the Court, and one swing voter, who hella went the wrong way yesterday on the voter law. Don’t rejoice too much.


Andreas Moser 06.27.13 at 8:48 am

I on the other hand live in a city that denied the application to hold a public gay parade. They made that decision exactly on the same day of the US Supreme Court decision. And no, it’s not in the Middle East or in Africa. It’s in Europe:


LanceThruster 06.27.13 at 11:10 pm

It was exasperating to hear arguments that the will of the voters was being ignored and overturned.

Well I hope so since they voted to discriminate!


John Quiggin 06.28.13 at 12:01 am

The political reality in the California case was that, almost certainly, enough anti-equality voters had changed their minds, or died, that a decision to uphold the referendum outcome would go against the actual majority view. A narrowly defined rejection of standing, with enough specificity to be overturned next time, was an elegant solution, in political if not in legal terms.


Timothy Scriven 06.28.13 at 6:50 am

In Sydney a rainbow crossing was recently installed, but was later destroyed by the conservative state government for supposed safety and fiscal rectitude reasons. In response a grassroots campaign was waged to fill the city with chalked on rainbow crossings, culminating in a recreation through chalk of the original crossing. Now apparently the movement has spread throughout Australia, and the tactic of handing out chalk has become popular in a variety of protest movements. One of those odd but lovely nuggets of political history from below.


Niall McAuley 06.28.13 at 2:36 pm

The New Yorker has a lovely (related) cover.


Peter Meeker 06.30.13 at 3:44 pm

Was there any blow back from the Muslim community of Utrecht?


Herbal Infusion Bagger 07.01.13 at 8:03 pm

Crosswalk? Humph! Try the City Hall, beeetchaz:


Ingrid Robeyns 07.01.13 at 9:06 pm

Thanks for all the lovely links – the New Yorker Cover has gone (somewhat) viral, and rightly so.

Peter @ 13: not that I know. but I read the local weekly newspaper while cooking (that is: with one eye and only a quarter of my attention), and don’t watch local tv, so I am probably the wrong person to ask. But my impression is that the vast majority of muslims in Utrecht endorse toleration (and a good number of them seem to be quite supportive of this gay-inclusiveness, as are a good number of “liberal christians”). But as said, this is based on impressions, not on anything looking like solid research.

@ #14 – good, but they should *paint* it, rather than simply putting on some lights, right? At least our crosswalk is painted, which hopefully means it will stay for a while (I thought they meant it as a permanent rainbow crosswalk, but may be wrong).


Shelby 07.02.13 at 6:49 pm

I like the sentiment of the crosswalk, but I am skeptical as a driver that it is so immediately recognizable as “crosswalk” as a conventional white one. In a visually cluttered urban environment you want such things to be so obvious they don’t take conscious thought.

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