From now on it, doesn’t have to rain for there to be a rainbow in Cincinnati.
Just look down.
City workers Thursday painted a red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet crosswalk at 12th and Vine streets in Over-the-Rhine in honor of Cincinnati’s LGBTQ community,
“It has been incredibly important that, internally, we set policies and laws to ensure every person is welcomed and valued in our city,” said Councilman Chris Seelbach, council’s first openly gay council member who championed LBGTQ legislation that earned the city a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. “Today, we are celebrating those achievements externally which this physical display, welcoming all to our city.”
Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard added, “We have a tendency in this town to see ‘other,’ ” she said. “I see this as symbolism for not only the LGBTQ community. Civil rights are civil rights. Love is love.”
Pride crosswalks have been painted in nearly 100 cities across America, from Seattle to Lexington, Kentucky. Seelbach said it’s time Cincinnati had one.
A crowd of people gathered for the crosswalk unveiling Tuesday. Cheryl Eagleson, a longtime leader in Cincinnati’s LGBTQ community, told the crowd years of hard work brought Cincinnati to a place that is nationally respected for its inclusivity.
“This is laying it down for all to see,” she said.
Seelbach proposed the idea late last year. An anonymous donor covered the $8,000 cost and the city Department of Transportation designed it.
The crosswalk is two blocks south of Mercer Street, which has the honorary designation of John Arthur and Jim Obergefell Way. Named during Pride Month in 2017, the street honors the national gay marriage icons who lived on the street before Arthur died and his partner Obergefell’s subsequent lawsuit against the state of Ohio. The suit, which argued that the state discriminated against same-sex couples who had married outside of Ohio, led to marriage equality in all 50 states.