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L.A. City Hall, a lavender beacon for gay rights

June 06, 2012|By Karin Klein
  • L.A. City Hall in its unpurple days.
L.A. City Hall in its unpurple days. (Los Angeles Times )

No two ways about it, it's terrific that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been a longtime, unwavering and vocal supporter of gay rights, including same-sex marriage, as The Times reported Wednesday. That's also the day when the mayor's office sent out a press release announcing that for much of this month, the movie-star-famous face of City Hall would be bathed in lavender light in acknowledgment of LGBT Heritage Month.

Lavender? Opinion seems divided on whether that's a firmly adopted color of the gay rights movement or a derogatory reference to homosexuality. A rainbow -- as in the striped flags that regularly appear at rallies and other events for same-sex marriage -- has been the more common color theme, but it's not easy to do that with a building.

Does this mean that we can look forward to a pink City Hall during October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a green City Hall in April, the month of Earth Day, and so forth? You've got to wonder just how thoroughly the mayor's office thought this through. Especially considering that the price of the decor is being picked up by a vodka company.

Really? L.A. is now taking money from liquor businesses to shine purple lights on a public building?

The mayor was better off providing the movement with political and oratory support than with a temporarily purple building. But if you disagree and love the ambience shed by lavender public towers, you can catch the purple beginning Wednesday after dark, and each evening through June 22.

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