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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Eichstadt

Madison celebrates its first ‘Rainbow Crossing’

The progress pride flag crosswalk is located at the top of State Street.

Madison celebrated its first “Rainbow Crossing” — a symbol of pride in the community — Thursday during Madison’s Night Market. 

The City of Madison and Friends of Madison Art Commission (FoMAC) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. Thursday on the State Street side of Capitol Square. 

The progress pride flag crosswalk represents the city’s inclusivity efforts, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

“We are all here today to celebrate Madison’s LGBTQ plus community and to make it clear to the world that Madison is a welcoming and inclusive city,” Rhodes-Conway said at the celebration.  

FoMAC co-chair Kia Karlen believes the rainbow crosswalk will positively impact Wisconsin’s queer children who see it.

“Tens of thousands of children from all over Wisconsin visit the capitol every spring, and I think it’s so wonderful to have a message here that says Madison is welcoming of all children,” Karlen said at the ceremony. 

The rainbow crosswalk combats hatred toward the LGBTQ community, according to Rhodes-Conway.

“All across the country, including here in Wisconsin, our LGBTQ plus community is under attack. Our health care, our relationships, our rights and our young people are under attack,” Rhodes-Conway said. “Today we are fighting back with love and pride.”

Karlen said this project received more than 100 individual donations, making it FoMAC’s most successful fundraiser. 

Alder Patrick Heck (District 2) and former alder Lindsay Lemmer (District 3) have been working to implement pride crosswalks in Madison since 2019. If financial support continues, more Rainbow Street Crossings may be seen across the city, according to a city press release

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