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Turku marks Pride month with rainbow pedestrian crossing

The city says it wants to communicate open-mindedness, tolerance and equality as well as supporting sexual and gender diversity.

The pedestrian crossing is situated near the city's theatre. Image: Vesa-Matti Ruuska / Yle

The colours of the rainbow, an international symbol for LGBTQ pride, have been painted onto a pedestrian crossing by the banks of the Aura river in the city of Turku, Southwest Finland.

The initiative to paint the road was taken by the city theatre to mark Pride month, city authorities said, and added that the rainbow crossing was the first of its kind in Finland. However, rainbow crossings were also evident in Helsinki last year.

Pride month is celebrated in Finland throughout the month of June.

The City of Turku said that it wants to communicate open-mindedness, tolerance and equality as well as supporting sexual and gender diversity by painting the pedestrian crossing.

Turku has in the past also flown the Pride flag and illuminated the city's Library Bridge with the rainbow colours.

Turku aims for "everyday equality"

The City of Turku's Communications Director Saara Malila said in a statement that the city is honoured to raise the issues of tolerance and equality in many different ways.

"Flying the rainbow flag on certain days acts as an instantaneous communication channel. The rainbow colours painted on the street reminds us that the city is equal and open to everyone every day," Malila said.

Despite the rainbow colours, the city wished to remind road users that the stretch of road is still an official pedestrian crossing.

"The pedestrian crossing at Rantakatu East will continue to be subject to the same traffic rules as before," the city's press release stated. "The crossing is marked in the normal way with a traffic sign. According to the law, a traffic sign is sufficient as a sign for a pedestrian crossing road."