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Dutch government to promote gay equality

Wed 19 Sep 2007 In: International News

The government of Holland has committed itself to the active promotion of acceptance of LGBT people, following several high-profile homophobic attacks in the country. In a memorandum on the 2008 Budget, the coalition government's Cabinet said that respect for difference is a basic condition of Dutch society. They committed millions of euros to fight homophobia and promote acceptance. Gay rights group COC welcomed the government's commitment, saying that ignorance was the cause of anti-gay sentiments. However, they said the budgets for individual departments remain vague and that ministers must bring forward concrete measures. Over half of Dutch gays feel less safe than they did a year ago, a survey carried out in August by current affairs programme EenVandaag revealed. 64% of anti-gay incidents were verbal but 12% resulted in physical abuse. Amsterdam's image in the Netherlands as the 'gay capital of the world' is also under threat as the survey revealed gays there were more fearful than in other parts of country. A substantial increase in attacks in the capital has been reported over the last few years. Of the 23,000 people questioned, including 1,980 gays and lesbians, 61% still maintained the Netherlands is a gay-friendly country. The fact that 72% of respondents claimed to be in favour of gay marriages seemed to support this.     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 19th September 2007 - 9:48am

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