After Merritt rejects LGBT rainbow crosswalk proposal, Vancouver lawyers offer their parking lot space

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      Although Merritt city council may have rejected plans to create a public display of being LGBT–inclusive, two Vancouver lawyers have stepped in to offer a solution that may save the day.

      The Merritt school district and two Merritt Secondary School student groups, an LGBT Pride club and an Indigenous youth group, had sought to create a rainbow crosswalk.

      School District 58 representatives presented the idea to Merritt's city council on February 27. They proposed a rainbow crosswalk at Coldwater Avenue and Chapman Street near the high school but on city property. The school district was willing to pay for the majority of the expenses.

      However, the proposal was defeated in a 4-3 vote, with some city councillors and the mayor expressing concerns about how it might spark requests from other groups for their own crosswalks.

      Rainbow crosswalks have been created in numerous British Columbians cities and towns, including Vancouver (created in 2013), New Westminster, Fort Langley, Whistler, Squamish, Maple Ridge, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Vernon, Terrace, Prince George, Castlegar, Masset, and more.

      However, when Vancouver lawyers Kyla Lee and Paul Doroshenko found out about the rejected proposal, they offered their adjoining parking lots they own in downtown Merritt as space for the rainbow crosswalks to be created upon.

      As if that wasn't enough, they even offered to donate money to help pay for the paint.

      The parking lots are located at Garcia Street and Coutlee Avenue.

      The crosswalk was proposed to be located at Coldwater Avenue and Chapman Street (blue marker on left) near Merritt Secondary School but parking lot space at Garcia Street and Coutlee Avenue (blue marker on right) has been offered as an alternative.

      CBC News reported that the school district will discuss the offer at their next meeting on March 14. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.