The rainbow crossing in the Lithuanian capital city Vilnius has been there since 2018, but in the recently ignited debate regarding LGBT+ acceptance, the crosswalk is the next symbol to suffer its consequences.
In a fast spreading video on social media, two men in yellow vests are seen holding up traffic, while applying black paint with aerosols. Two passers-by seem to stop and aid the men in making the rainbow crossover disappear from the streets as quickly as possible. One woman is not even bothered by her centimetre-high red stiletto heels and frantically starts spraying paint.
The destruction of the pride pedestrian crossing caused indignant reactions in the capital. A member of parliament even calls the group of people 'terrorists’. The deputy mayor has vowed to recover the crossover on the expense of the perpetrators. The rainbow pedestrian crossing will be restored as soon as possible, he tells Lithuanian broadcaster LRT. He emphasises that stands on social issues can differ. “If everyone started to realize and act on their stands or points of view, what kind of order will we have in society? This form of action is unacceptable and illicit.”
The mayor has also responded to the situation. According to him, the colours of the crossing were recently retouched. “It is a pity that people get annoyed over signs that symbolise respect for others.”
In Lithuania LGBT+ rights are a sensitive topic within social debate. As in other Eastern-European countries, the discussion regarding equal rights for the LGBT+ community has created a contradiction between ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’ views.