A fresh coat of paint on a crosswalk in the town of Sussex, N.B., is stirring up some controversy.
On Thursday, town workers finished painting a rainbow on the crosswalk on Main Street and while some believe it has made the town more inclusive, others say it has sent the wrong message.
The town council debated the issue on Tuesday evening before passing the motion in a 3 to 2 vote in favour of the crosswalk.
Councillor Bridget Ryan voted for the motion and is not surprised some members of the small, conservative community don’t like the decision.
She says that it’s still an important message to make.
“When someone comes to our community and sees that, they have an understanding that we can be welcoming and put our arms around the LGBT community, we can put our arms around other people as well,” Ryan said.
Two pastors members spoke at the meeting, including Joy Cowan, intern minister at St. Paul’s United Church in Sussex, N.B.
“I do feel that hopefully we are heading towards a more inclusive and welcoming society and a rainbow crosswalk is just one small part of that,” she said in an interview on Thursday.
Reverend Tim MacDonald, pastor at Faith Bible Baptist Fellowship, told council his heart was deeply grieved over the idea, saying it’s a sinful choice to be gay.
MacDonald claimed the spoke on behalf of most churches in the area. He was unavailable for comment on Thursday.
Archie Dorie owns a business on Main Street and welcomes the addition of the cross walk.
“I think this is a great idea with the farmers’ market right across the street from us and all of these beautiful colours,” Dorie said.
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The councillors who voted no on the motion were unavailable for comment on Thursday, but at the meeting cited safety concerns as a reason for their decision.
Councillor Ryan says there’s no time limit as to how long the crosswalk will remain in rainbow colours.
With files from Todd Veinotte