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'Definitely discouraging': Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk vandalized

(Photo courtesy this is Fort Langley, via Facebook)

FORT LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) -The marks have been removed, but a local artist hopes the defacing of Fort Langley’s first rainbow crosswalk gets people talking about the need for diversity and acceptance.

The paint on a new rainbow crosswalk in Fort Langley at Glover Road and Mary Avenue was barely dry before someone used their car to leave large skid marks across the bright rainbow sometime between Friday evening and early Saturday morning.

“Not really a shock, but I just stepped back and went ‘we still have a crosswalk, we still have the majority of the people that are in support of this and it’s just a matter of some soap and water to scrub it off and hopefully go forward,'” said Elaine Brewer-White who helped raise funds for the crosswalk. “It also initiates conversation about why this is important.”

The Township of Langley had removed the marks by Monday.

Talks to create a rainbow crosswalk began more than a year ago, after 49 people were murdered inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Brewer-White said. Local artists helped raise the $12,000 needed.

Several communities in BC have recently installed rainbow crosswalks, including Vancouver, New Westminster, Maple Ridge Victoria, Nanaimo and Kelowna. New Westminster’s rainbow was vandalized the same day it was painted two years ago.

“Homophobia and racism exists everywhere. But with every act of vandalism, there’s also acts of kindness and there’s discussion that goes on and maybe it opens people’s minds and hearts a little bit,” Brewer-White said.