Berlin has its ‘Ampelmann’ and ‘Ampelfrau’, Haarlem and other Dutch cities have ‘Sofie’, and now Utrecht has gay couples depicted on their pedestrian crossing signs in rainbow colours.
The city of Utrecht wants to show that gay men and women, as well as bisexual and transgender people are welcome in the city. Here’s the bright red gay one and the green lesbian one. Utrecht also has a rainbow colored pedestrian crossing.
Newspaper Metro mentioned that designing the signs cost 1200 euro, which led to online comments ranging from ‘bureaucrats are wasting our money’ and ‘where’s the sign with a straight couple’ to ‘gays and lesbians need to be treated like everyone else, signs won’t change that’. Knowing that Utrecht made the news in 2010 when a gay couple was harassed so much they were forced to move house makes one wonder if pedestrian crossing signs are really the way to go.
(Links: www.rtvutrecht.nl, www.libelle.nl, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)
Tags: gays, Haarlem, lesbians, Utrecht
On Tuesday 1 April legislation kicked in that made the partner of lesbian mothers gain equal rights as the parent of their child. For the longest time, the ‘second’ mother (or co-mother) had to go through a costly adoption procedure in order to become the legal parent of their partner’s child. The procedure lasted at least 6 months, cost at least 1000 euro and was very stressful. If something happened to the child in the mean time, the co-mother had no rights whatsoever, turning the child into an orphan. Thanks to this change in the law, children of lesbian parents have rights that equal those of children born of heterosexual couples.
Before, only the birth mother was considered the mother and a second mother had no legal rights. When a heterosexual couple adopted a child or went through artificial insemination, the father just had to sign some papers and never had to go through any kind of adoption procedure like gay women did.
Once marriage is made legal for homosexuals, the next step is taking care of such parenting issues, so foreign countries, take note.
(Links: www.welingelichtekringen.nl, www.coc.nl, Photo of Crying baby by Chalky Lives, some rights reserved)
Tags: lesbians, rights
After weeks of debating the ‘Zwarte Piet’ tradition during Sinterklaas, which involves blackface considered a tradition here but racist abroad, a steady number of Dutch people on Facebook are now pissed off at the Pope.
The Pope’s famous Dutch saying, “bedankt voor de bloemen” (“thanks for the flowers”), is often the first thing that pops to mind if you mention the Pope to a Dutch person. The Facebook page Geen bloemen naar de Paus (‘No flowers for the Pope’) wants to stop sending flowers to the Pope at Easter and is venting its anger at the Pope’s heteronormative Christmas speech, which angered Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans who lashed out in the media at the Pope’s ‘homophobia’:
“If every person is unique, as the Pope’s representative said in Dublin last week, then why should that unique person not have the right to stand up for their own sexual orientation? Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual.”
I for one will never, ever get over the amount of child abuse reported from the Catholic church since I was old enough to understand what it was.
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages, although some controversy remains over municipal officials who refuse to marry gays and lesbians on religious grounds.
Regardless, to quote a gay friend back in the 1990s inspired by the American’s first Bush administration: “Hate is not a family value”.
Tags: Facebook, flowers, gays, homosexuals, lesbians, marriage, Pope, same-sex
For the first time, Amsterdam’s Gay Pride canal parade will feature a Dutch-Turkish boat that fits 80 people. However, the organisers say that it’s mostly gay Turkish men on the boat and that they have few lesbians. “Many women are still afraid of coming out of the closet although many of them simply don’t have an affinity with the whole Gay Pride thing,” explains one of the female organisers.
They could already be full, but the Dutch film in the link says they could use 10 more lesbians. The whole point of the boat is to show that having a Turkish background and being gay goes together in a positive way. And even though they didn’t get any entrepreneurs to sponsor the boat, they’ve only had positive responses, as “emancipation takes time”.
(Link: www.lokum.nl, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)
Tags: gay pride, gays, lesbians, Turks
On 20 April, some 20 kilometres of hiking routes for lesbians will be officially opened in the province of Brabant. In the woods near Alphen lesbians will be able to enjoy nature and “get together”.
The first Dutch “ladies’ route” was opened in North Holland, and there are also routes in Zeeland and Drenthe. Noord-Brabant is now the fourth province to go lesbian friendly. The goal is to have lesbian hiking routes throughout the country.
Tags: Alphen, hiking, lesbians, woods