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
Big Think writes:
A combination of sex and drugs (and possibly rock ‘n’ roll) is forcing two governments to change the border that divides them. The Presqu’ile de l’Islal, a small Belgian peninsula stranded on the Dutch bank of the river Meuse, is to change hands to eliminate a zone that is, to all practical effects, quite literally beyond the law.
Due to its political status, the uninhabited peninsula is off limits to the Dutch police. And because of its geographic isolation, it is out of reach for their Belgian colleagues. These circumstances conspire to make the peninsula a sanctuary for unlicensed sunbathing, loud bacchanalia and unrestricted drug dealing.
In parts of Limburg the border is formed by the river Meuse. Over time gravel extraction has led the river to change its course, creating tracts of land that the Belgian police can only reach by taking a long detour over Dutch territory. Binnenlands Bestuur explained in 2001: “The peninsulas have become popular as a gay meeting ground. […] In the summer the beach is popular with youths. […] Recently there have been indications that the gays have been bothering the youths. These allegations cannot be verified because the Dutch authorities have no legal status in the area and the Belgian authorities cannot act there because,” and here the author cranks up the dramatic background score to eleven, “they would have to invade our country through the town of Eijsden!”
Oh the horror! The voice of sanity is one Johan Lahaye speaking for the town of Eijsden who told Trouw shortly after: “There is no gay beach there. We’ve had the grand sum of exactly one complaint.” By that time however the Dutch parliament had started to study the issue and the Minister of the Interior had promised to make the border correction a priority. Last year De Limburger reported on a border committee that had visited the area and was ready to send a report to the capitals of both nations.
The border correction is expected to take place in a year or two. Gentlemen, start your engines.
The last time the Netherlands changed its borders was in 2010 when it gained 3 volcanoes (a number which had been 0 since 1945) and its highest point became 887 metres (formerly 323 metres)—three of the Dutch Antilles became a part of the country.
(Map by OpenStreetMap contributors, some rights reserved; the big purple line is the border)
Tags: beaches, borders, highest point, homosexuals, islands, Limburg, Maastricht, peninsulas, volcanoes
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
While the first ever Latin American same-sex couple recently got married in Argentina and another one got arrested for doing so in Malawi, Amsterdam will hold its first ever wedding fair for gays and lesbians on February 14, Valentine’s Day 2010. The fair will feature some 50 stands at the Westergasfabriek in West Amsterdam. Already married same-sex couples can visit the fair for free upon showing their marriage certificate.
Since 1st April 2001 gays and lesbians have been allowed to marry in the Netherlands and it was the first country to allow same-sex marriages.
(Link: depers.nl, Photo of Gay flag in Amsterdam by Remon Rijper, some rights reserved)
Tags: homosexuals, weddings
Here’s a scary portion of “maybe the good marketers were on vacation” over at the Dutch bureau for tourism.
I bet you couldn’t guess what this advert was for even if you wanted to. It could be whitening toothpaste. Or Prozac. And you’d be dead wrong.
This advert was designed to encourage American gay men (because they keep telling us lesbians have no money) to come to Amsterdam. Since gay also means happy, everybody is laughing, including a dog (!) and an underaged boy (!!). They threw in an Asian and an ‘African-American’ (chances are they aren’t) like they do in the US. None of these people look Dutch, either.
I asked gay Amsterdam resident and Ph.D. in Sociology Laurent Chambon what he thought of this advert.
“This campaign is idiotic for two reasons. First, it seems like they were afraid of the word ‘gay’ and are playing on the word to disguise what they really want to say, which hurts after spending decades trying to come out of the closet! American gays come to the Netherlands to be themselves and for marihuana, sex, culture, architecture, shopping, design, clubs, etc. That is what we should be selling them.
The second is that they are selling Amsterdam as if it they were selling yogurt, insurance or a family vacation. Amsterdam practically sells itself, but here they are using generic headshots from an image databank.”
(Link and image: volkskrant.nl)
Tags: advertising, gays, homosexuals, sexism, women