VIENNA: City Readies For Gay Christmas
Gay-themed traffic lights are getting Vienna into the mood for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, one of the world's most popular kitsch cultural events which this year is being hosted by the Austrian capital. Dozens of traffic lights in central Vienna have been programmed to show male or female gay couples with hearts -- in red for stop and green for go -- replacing the usual single, gender-neutral figure. The campaign is intended to present Vienna as an open-minded city and also to improve traffic safety as the unusual symbols attract the attention of drivers and pedestrians, a spokeswoman for Vienna's city lighting department said. The city of Vienna will then collate data to see whether the campaign has indeed helped traffic safety, she added. The Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 60th year, has long been a fixture on the international gay calendar.Last year's winner, Austrian pop star Conchita Wurst, will host the green room portion of the contest. Bookmakers are pegging Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw as this year's favorite.