Saskatoon’s rainbow crosswalk damaged by tire marks

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Rainbow crosswalk damaged in Saskatoon
WATCH: Two days after being installed for Pride Month, a rainbow crosswalk in downtown Saskatoon has been defaced with tire marks. – Jun 5, 2017

UPDATE: Saskatoon Pride Festival team will repair rainbow crosswalk

Saskatoon’s recently installed rainbow crosswalk has been damaged after a driver tore through a downtown intersection and left dark tire marks at 23rd Street and 4th Avenue.

The skid marks surfaced on Monday, just two days after the lines were painted to celebrate Saskatoon’s LGBTQ community, pride month and the upcoming Saskatoon Pride Festival.

READ MORE: Charlie Clark named grand marshal of Saskatoon Pride Parade

On its Facebook page, the Saskatoon Pride Festival posted a picture of the crosswalk and wrote: “Love and Colour will always Over Shadow Hate and Darkness 🌈 #YxePride #LoveAlwaysWins”

Some social media users called it an act of homophobia.

Pride Festival co-chair Krystal Nieckar considers it a deliberate mark.

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“It’s sad for the community that things like that are still happening,” Nieckar said.

READ MORE: SIIT Saskatoon campus hosts first LGBTQ Awareness Week

City crews will assess the damage on Tuesday, though Pride officials are undecided whether to leave the skid mark on the road.

The alternative would be to “leave it as a reminder that the community will rise above – always,” according to Nieckar.

Charlie Clark will be the first mayor in Saskatoon history to assume the role of pride parade grand marshal later this month.

If the act was an intentional statement, it would be a “real disappointment,” Clark said.

“Our diversity is something that makes us stronger,” he said.

“We cannot stand by and allow homophobia, discrimination [and] racism, to hold us back and to divide up our community.”

The 25th annual Saskatoon Pride Festival begins Friday and runs until June 25.

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