The Dutch have youth news on television, and recently 10-year-old called Fenna was interviewed for telling the editors of Donald Duck weekly magazine that there was never any homosexual couples in their magazine, after going through all of the one she had.
Fenna has two mothers and two fathers, and would like to see her favourite magazine represent her reality a bit more, saying that it is important. The editor-in-chief responded that he had never really thought about it, and that they plan to add homosexual couples in the background of stories soon based on her suggestion.
Donald Duck magazine has made steps to become more inclusive before, including an edition dealing with dyslexia and one character in a wheelchair. They are clearly not huge steps, but sometimes it takes a fan who sees things a bit differently to point others in the right direction.
Donald Duck magazine has been offered in Braille, in Frisian, and in an easier-to-read version for children that don’t read.
Tags: homosexuality, inclusivity, representation
The Netherlands is no longer in the Top 10 of countries that have well regulated LGBTI rights, now sitting in eleventh place, according to the Rainbow Europe Index 2018.
One of the sticking points is not having any explicit inclusion in the law that says discriminating against transgender and intersex people is illegal. As well, Belgium is doing a better job, something that often provides a ‘wake-up call’ to the Dutch.
Malta is at the top of list, followed by Belgian in second place and Norway in third place.
(Link: parool.nl, Photo of Gay flag by sigmaration, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, gays, homosexuality, homosexuals, lesbians, LGBT
A bizarre loophole that allowed religious schools to ban gay teachers was closed in the Netherlands on 1 July.
The law on equal treatment already forbade firing or refusing to hire teachers strictly because they are gay. An exception however existed for added circumstances, leading to the strange situation that a teacher could not be fired just for being gay, but could be fired for being gay and kissing somebody of their own gender.
In Dutch this exception was called the ‘enkelefeitconstructie’ (the ‘single fact construct’). The strange exception had remained in the 1994 law in order to keep Christian party CDA happy, but in 2014 almost all CDA MPs voted to remove it. According to the government, the exception has always been a dead letter, as no judge has ever allowed it to stand in a court of law.
Churches’ freedom to found religious, state-funded schools is considered part of the freedom of religion in the Netherlands and is enshrined in Article 23 of the constitution. Teachers can still be fired from religious schools for belonging to the wrong church, as three teachers from the Reformed Wartburg College found out last June after they were rebaptised by a different Protestant sect, AD writes.
See also: Church unlawfully fires woman for being transgender
Tags: Christianity, constitution, education, homosexuality, human rights, law, teachers
Last May 11 Iago Sparrows flew aboard the MV Plancius on 6 May 2013 from the Cape Verde Islands. In the end, four birds (two male and two female) stayed on board until Hansweert, Zeeland, making them the first known individuals of that species (endemic to the islands off West Africa) to have reached Europe, and therefore writing history.
Once docked in Hansweert on 19 May, the sparrows stayed on board to eat breadcrumbs and hang out with the captain.
All four sparrows were timid and passive, up until the moment I released the male from his confinement on the bridge. The other male then sought the company of the Captain’s sparrow, and the two cocks started a fight. The aggressive display ended in a clear attempt to copulate. One male definitely mounted the other and tried to copulate. The male that was mounted did, however, not assume the classic submissive solicitation posture (crouched, neck drawn in, wings slightly drooped), a posture known from observation of female House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) that solicit copulation.
Please feel free to insert all kinds of good-humoured jokes in the comments.
(Links: www.improbable.com, moeliker.wordpress.com, Photo of Iago Sparrow by Hans Zwitzer, some rights reserved)
Tags: Cape Verde, homosexuality, sparrow, Zeeland
Last week the Dutch association for gays and lesbians, COC, launched its sfeermeter (mood metre), an online poll for determining the gay friendliness of Dutch businesses.
Preliminary results suggest 47% of all companies are ‘top’, with only 2% ranking as ‘derailed’. COC hopes to publish its results at the same time as the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce comes out with its own ranking.
Dutch companies are currently not to be found on the international list, though Philips would like to be one of its leaders, De Pers suggests.
The paper thinks schools may score low on the metre. Teachers union AOB Roze reported the other day that teachers are getting back into the closet, afraid of nasty reactions by students, parents and even employers.
According to COC chairperson Vera Bergkamp, corny workplace jokes (“oops, guess I shouldn’t bend over to pick up this paperclip so close to you”) are what is mainly keeping gays in the office closet.
Tags: homosexuality, labour, sexual harassment, work places