David Ball: Offers strong support for rainbow crosswalk

Last modified: Tuesday, May 06, 2014
To the editor:

Some of the attacks on the rainbow crosswalk published in the Gazette made me want to express my strong support for it.

It is wrong to say that the rainbow is “the symbol” of the gay community and the crosswalk would be a “label” saying “Northampton is gay” (a ludicrous idea). The rainbow sign is a symbol of acceptance of the LGBT community.

That is very different. St. John’s Episcopal Church on Elm Street has a rainbow banner over the door: it certainly does not mean it is a “gay church” or a “church for gays.” It means gays are as welcome as anyone else — everyone is welcome. Surely “everyone is welcome here” is a message our city wants to express.

Gays and lesbians are not “a special interest group,” as one misguided opponent to the crosswalk said: They are citizens who happen to have a sexual orientation that the majority does not. Rejecting discrimination — which the rainbow does — is not the same as favoring a “special interest.”

Let’s have that crosswalk, bright and colorful.

David Ball