The freshly painted rainbow crosswalk on a private driveway in Chilliwack, B.C. spans 38 feet in length.
“To me, diversity is important.”
That’s how Chilliwack homeowner Marty van den Bosch explained in a Facebook post why he and his wife, Kristy, decided to have a brightly coloured rainbow painted on their property.
A photo of the new rainbow from last week received a whopping 750 likes and other emoji reactions, along with 131 shares.
“We have a large cross-section of people that live in our country, and in our city,” wrote van den Bosch. “Each and every one of us are different, often in many ways.”
They watched with dismay as city council quashed the rainbow crosswalk proposal in a 5-1 vote at city hall last week, he said.
Council took the vote without allowing the advocates to speak, despite a petition signed by more than 800 people, and 100 letters of support.
“I do my best to treat people based on their actions, and their words, not on things like their sexual orientation, race or any other attributes they were born with,” continued van den Bosch.
He’s not trying to change anyone’s mind, but said they felt it was important to show that the acceptance and inclusivity effort was worthy, and the rainbow advocates should have been given a chance to at least address council with hundreds of people supporting them.
“Look, I am a middle-aged and heterosexual male who has no investment in this, and at first when I heard about the effort to get a rainbow crosswalk approved, I was neither strongly for or against,” van den Bosch said.
But he changed his view since then.
“If it wasn’t contentious, then something like this wouldn’t be needed,” van den Bosch said. “This is not about getting attention.”
It comes down to respect.
“I support the belief that everyone should be treated with respect, regardless of our differences,” he said.
He offered thanks to painter Lorna Seip, manager of Two Girls On A Roll, for providing the labour to paint the crosswalk at no charge.
It didn’t cost much for the project materials, about $410 for all the supplies including paint, van den Bosch estimated.
“It can be done inexpensively,” he said about painting on private property.
Of course for a city crosswalk it would cost much more, to pay for flaggers, signage, cones and other costs.