A vocal minority of business owners continue to battle the proposed rainbow crosswalks for Austin's gayborhood on West 4th. At yesterday's council meeting, the owners of Hangar Lounge and SIX Lounge protested the crosswalk could "hamper business," according to The Chronicle:
Both Ruhling and Korioth contend they are fully supportive of LGBT rights. (As the son of two civil rights leaders, Korioth said, "It's in my DNA to include equal rights for everyone") but are concerned that the colorful addition to their area would hamper business. The Pride Foundation does not have a "vested interest" in the leased-out spaces, they both said. Putting his money where his mouth is, Korioth even wagered somewhat of a bet, offering up a $10,000 check to any organization the LGBTQ-right group chooses if his business sales increase after the implementation of the rainbow crosswalks - yet if the sales drop, he challenged the gay rights group to answer to the bar's investors and employers.
First popularized by Los Angeles's West Hollywood neighborhood, rainbow crosswalks have become common sights in gay neighborhoods in cities like Vancouver, San Francisco, and Boston. Most of the businesses on West 4th Street support the move, and former critics like Peche have revised their position.