Minister Dijkgraaf: The Netherlands is no longer at the forefront of LGBTIQ+ rights

The Netherlands is no longer a pioneering country in the field of LGBTIQ+ rights, said Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture, and Science) on the day of the Canal Parade in Amsterdam. In an interview with international news agency Bloomberg, he said it is not a given that society is becoming more inclusive and argued that more needs to be done to achieve this.

The minister said that the momentum for the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community is slowing down because opposition to it is growing and explained that far-right parties around the world are making efforts to drive groups apart.

In the Netherlands, Dijkgraaf stated, a small minority is impeding progress. “This minority is not shrinking and is even making its voice heard more and more. In recent years, and especially this year, we have seen more violence and aggression, whether from football fans or the destruction of monuments,” he told Bloomberg.

The Pride survey conducted by EenVandaag confirms the minister’s concerns. According to the survey, the majority of LGBTIQ+ members in the Netherlands feel increasingly unsafe as most notice that assaultive and negatively conspicuous behavior towards them has increased over the years. This includes attacks and hate comments on social media or people demonstrating against children’s readings featuring drag queens, as was the case in Rotterdam this spring. This negative behavior is not necessarily focused against individuals, but rather against the community as a whole and its representatives, the tv program EenVandaag reported.

According to the minister, another factor is that residents see the Netherlands as a progressive country and therefore take tolerance for members of the LGBTIQ+ community for granted. “In the Netherlands, we felt for a long time that we were ahead of the curve,” he said. “We were very proud of our tradition of being very tolerant and open.”

In the meantime, the Netherlands is no longer a frontrunner, according to the international interest group ILGA. The Netherlands ranks 15th in Europe’s 2022 gay rights rankings, and the organization wrote in a report that members of that community increasingly face hate crimes. In addition, trans people who are exposed to domestic violence are not adequately supported, ILGA said.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *