(Picture: Reuters
(Picture: Reuters

Gay-themed traffic lights are getting Vienna in the mood for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, with the kitsch event this year being hosted by the Austrian capital.

Dozens of pedestrian crossings in central Vienna have been programmed to show male or female gay couples, replacing the usual single, gender-neutral figure.

The campaign is intended to present Vienna as an open-minded city and also to improve traffic safety as the unusual symbols attract the greater attention from drivers and pedestrians, a spokeswoman for Vienna’s city lighting department said.

Data will be collated to see whether the campaign has indeed helped road safety she added.

The Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 60th year, has long been a fixture on the international gay calendar. Last year, bearded transvestite Conchita Wurst won the contest for Austria with the song “Rise like a Phoenix”.

About 40 countries are taking part in the 2015 Eurovision contest and the final will be held on 23 May. Vienna will also host a “Life Ball” charity event on 16 May to raise money for the fight against HIV and Aids.

Hollywood actress Charlize Theron and French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier will be among the guests, along with Wurst.

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