The coalition agreement for a new Dutch government that is being formed in the coming three weeks says that to the first article of the Constitution, which forbids discrimination on certain grounds, will be added: a person’s sexual orientation and being handicapped.
It also pledges to reduce immaterial government registration of gender.
On paper, all seems OK in the first country that legalized gay marriage.
However, how liberal is the Netherlands really? A few examples.
There are 10,000 men active in Dutch professional soccer. How many of them, would you think, are openly gay? Add to that amount the gay soccer players who in the last four years called a special number to help them come forward. Let me give you a hint: it’s a round number.
This total number is just published: zero. In liberal the Netherlands.
You would think that that’s because it’s a working class problem? Let’s go to the highest echelons of Dutch society. Past Thursday prospective new head of government Mark Rutte in the main debate sought permission (for the third time) to form a new administration. The leader of the largest and ultra-right-wing opposition party wanted to know why he was not allowed to join that team. Rutte admitted that it had pleaded to participate, but it had made itself completely impossible showing its ugliest sides, as a woman who doesn’t want to be loved. Its leader then retorted to Rutte: And that while no one in the country knows if you ever had [a relationship with] a woman. Mark Rutte is single and has never be seen romantically involved with a woman – or anyone.
However, whose business is that? How can Rutte be called out in Dutch parliament for not being open about his partner choice or preference – if he has one at all? This scandalous irrelevant attack on his person was not countered by any of the 150 MPs present including the otherwise very strict president of the House.
And just now you wanted to think that Rutte is the saint in this area – he and his fellow coalition leaders typify their new government policies as prioritizing “normal people.” They thereby brush aside the Muslims, the poor, the elderly and yes: the homosexuals and the handicapped.
If you want to see a better world, you better go for the long haul.