Thursday, April 19, 2007

36 Rainbow Street Signs Dedicated by Philadelphia Mayor in 'Gayborhood'

City Street Signs Symbolize Diversity, Inclusiveness and Invitation

PHILADELPHIA, April 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It is a historic moment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community as the City of Philadelphia and Mayor John F. Street dedicated 36 new street signs that are permanently affixed with the rainbow flag to designate the "Gayborhood" today. The dedication ceremony was held at 13th and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA. Locals sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and shot rainbow confetti into the air.

The street signs have been installed in the Gayborhood, defined as Chestnut to Pine Streets between 11th and Broad Streets. The rainbow-branded street signs are an internationally-recognized welcome symbol that demonstrates a city's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. Philadelphia's "Gayborhood" is a place where GLBT visitors and regional residents can patronize a concentration of gay-friendly businesses, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops and restaurants.

Two years in the planning, the effort to replace existing street signs with the new gay-friendly ones was championed by the members of the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus with support from the City of Philadelphia, Washington Square Civic Association and Philadelphia City Councilman Frank DiCicco. The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus is a non-profit organization with nearly 100 members who are dedicated to helping Philadelphia get its share of the $54 billion gay travel market.

The rainbow symbol, sometimes called "the freedom flag," was created by San Francisco Artist Gilbert Baker. The six colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Philadelphia joins a short-list of other North American cities that have erected permanent rainbow installations in gay-friendly districts including San Francisco, Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto.


Blogger T.C. said...

"I think it may be admitted as a general and constant rule that among civilized nations the warlike passions will become more rare and less intense in proportion as social conditions are more equal."

-Alexis de Tocqueville
"Democracy in America"
Book II
Chapter XXII

If de Tocqueville was right, the fact that our society's warlike passions are the exact opposite of "more rare and less intense" must lead us to the sad conclusion that his corollary, "social conditions are more equal" is also the exact opposite.

Thus, without a strong, unremitting push toward social justice and equality, we haven't a prayer of reigning in the rampant militarism of this country. Indeed, this militarism is on the rise:

"The dire prospect that opens, therefore, is that America is going to become a mega-banana republic where the army will have more and more importance in Americans' lives. It will be an ever greater and greater overlay on the American system. And before it is all over, democracy, noble and delicate as it is, may give way. My long experience with human nature - I'm 80 years old now - suggests that it is possible that fascism, not democracy, is the natural state.

Indeed, democracy is the special condition - a condition we will be called upon to defend in the coming years. That will be enormously difficult because the combination of the corporation, the military and the complete investiture of the flag with mass spectator sports has set up a pre-fascistic atmosphere in America already."

-Norman Mailer
"Gaining an Empire, Losing Democracy?"

2:55 PM  

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