A combination of photos shows gay-themed traffic lights in Vienna May 11, 2015.
Heinz-Peter Bader—Reuters
By Kevin McSpadden
May 12, 2015

The Austrian capital Vienna is gearing up to host the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest — which has developed a large LGBT following —by refurbishing pedestrian signal lights at road crossings to feature gay-friendly symbols.

The updated lights will now tell pedestrians not to walk by flashing outlines of same-sex couples standing with their arms around one another or holding hands. A gay couple walking beneath a love heart tells pedestrians that it is safe to cross.

A city official told Reuters that Vienna hopes to present itself as an open-minded city ahead of the event.

The city also believes the move might help with traffic safety because the unconventional signals will make pedestrians look twice. Officials plan on collecting data to see if the hypothesis holds true.

The Eurovision Song Contest has launched the careers of pop icons Celine Dion and ABBA, among others. Last year’s winner was Conchita Wurst, a drag queen portrayed by Austrian Thomas Neuwirth. Wurst’s song “Rise Like a Pheonix” now boasts nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

Around 40 countries are competing in this year’s event with the final being held on May 23.

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