News (USA)

Vandal defaces newly painted rainbow crosswalk

An image of surveillance footage showing a man vandalizing Nashville's rainbow crosswalk
An image of surveillance footage showing a man vandalizing Nashville's rainbow crosswalk Photo: Nashville Scene

A rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of South 14th and Woodland street in Nashville, Tennessee has been defaced with black paint, WSMV reports.

“I don’t understand what somebody’s motivation is to do something like this. I don’t understand why they’re threatened by the LGBTQ community to the point they feel the need to make such a statement,” said Emily Benedict, Nashville Metro Council District 7 LGBTQ Caucus Chair.

“Let’s have a conversation about what it is to be a lesbian,” Benedict said to Nashville Scene. “I really would like to sit down with this guy — not to berate him at all. So that he can gain an understanding of the importance of this empathy.”

Police have not yet identified the man responsible for defacing the crosswalk.

Surveillance video shows a white male in a white Ford van pouring black paint over the crosswalk around noon last Tuesday. This occurred just outside the lesbian bar The Lipstick Lounge.

The crosswalk was only just installed last Saturday after hundreds of Nashville residents gathered to paint it together. State politicians had also gathered during the painting.

“I think (it’s) historic, being a part of the moment in Nashville. It’s a long time coming and being recognized as a community, as part of the community, that’s going to be here continuously, not just in June, it’s throughout the year,” East Nashville resident Luke Finck had said during the event.

The event had gone over without substantial incident. Almost no one showed up to protest, except for a single man who was seen preaching. The crosswalk was pushed for for years, and was only recently approved by the Nashville Department of Transportation as part of an urban revitalization program.

“It was kids, seniors, retired folks and everybody in between,” said Benedict to Nashville Scene. “It was drag queens. It was straight allies. … It was exactly who East Nashville is.”

District 6 Councilmember Clay Capp said to Nasvhille Scene, “We have got to stand up for our LGBTQ neighbors. An attack on anyone’s equality is attack on all of our equality.”

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