Same-sex couples traffic lights to come to Cologne

The Local Germany
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Same-sex couples traffic lights to come to Cologne
The file photo shows traffic lights in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

Traffic lights in the city of Cologne will be decked out with same-sex couples for Christopher Street Day (CSD), an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community.


The city in North Rhine-Westphalia will showcase the design on traffic lights in the city centre as part of CSD, also sometimes known as Christopher Street Day or Gay Pride, which takes place as over three days in Cologne at the beginning of July.

City officials said the move was to mark 50 years since a series of violent confrontations between police and gay rights activists in New York, known as the Stonewall uprising. That began in the early hours of June 28th, 1969 outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village.

The first CSD in Germany, which took place 10 years later in 1979, in Berlin, was inspired by the Stonewall activists. 

SEE ALSO: Berlin Pride's ceaseless co-founder continues the fight for LGBT equality

CSD is now held every year in cities across Germany, celebrating the LGBTQ community. The Cologne CSD is one of the largest events in Europe.

The lights will be installed in Cologne’s Heumarkt, where the Pride parade will pass through. A total of 20 classic Ampfelmännchen -- green and red men -- will be replaced by the same-sex pairs of women and men, a city spokesman said.

The city has not said how long the lights will be in place for.

Novelty lights

It’s not the first time traffic lights with same-sex couples have lit up the streets. Hamburg, Flensburg, Frankfurt, Madrid and Vienna in Austria have all installed gay-themed pedestrian crossing lights.

In fact, lots of traffic lights in Germany have undergone transformations.

In Friedberg, Elvis Presley traffic lights recently began regulating traffic and helping pedestrians cross the road. It was a tribute to the singer who was stationed there as a soldier from October 1958 to March 1960.

SEE ALSO: Stop and rock! New Elvis Presley light flashes in Friedberg

One of the most famous is the Karl Marx lights in the communist philosopher's birthplace of Trier. The lights were installed last year, marking the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth in 1818.

SEE ALSO: Walkers of the world unite: Marx traffic light installed in his hometown of Trier

Arguably, the most famous traffic lights in Germany can be found in Berlin. Created in 1961, Ampelmänner guarded the roads in the formerly communist half of Germany while sporting a pointy hat and a jaunty stride.

But today the creative characters exist beyond pedestrian crossings, having become a popular Berlin souvenir in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

SEE ALSO: East Germany's iconic traffic man turns 50



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