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Letter from Brussels: Time For A Professional Gay Lobby

by De Ket in Columns & Opinions , 23 September 2016

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Dear Neighbors to the North, Who takes a stand in Belgium (and Europe) for the gay community? One is easily tempted to reply that organizations such as Wel Jong Niet Hetero, Cavaria as an umbrella organization, etcetera, will do so.

All these Flemish and Walloon organizations and those in Brussels have done a lot of good work in the past. Only lately, they are making one big mistake, they are stuck at reeling in same-sex marriage, made possible more than a decade ago. As if same-sex marriage with a stroke of the pen solves all the problems the gay community faces once and for all.

If only this were true. The same-sex marriage has also made many enemies, who have not yet given up. The aversion against the GLBT community continues to increase. Look at France, or the many homophobic incidents in the Netherlands. Only those who are blind, do not (want to) see.

Whenever there has been a gay unfriendly incident, the inexperienced activists of the GLBT organizations take up their pens to express their disgust and compassion. Those press releases and accompanying interviews excel in woolly talk, which do not leave any impression with many people, and certainly not with those who are not (entirely) friendly towards the gay community. Sometimes, harsh language is necessary.

It is high time that the GLBT community in Belgium recognizes that lobbying is a professional activity. In other words, a young spokesperson-volunteer who is nineteen years of age might know how to give someone a blow job, but defending the interests of a significant portion of the population is another matter altogether. As an animal rights organization Gaia employs full-time lobbyists, and the gay community none.

Defending the interests of the gay community, at all levels, must urgently shift into a higher gear. It is no longer enough that Belgium once had a gay prime minister to continue safeguarding our rights in such a way. Besides, to this day it is still a mystery what former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo has ever done for the Belgian GLBT community. I dare to pose this question now and again with his many supporters, but after all these years I still get no answers. A painful question, apparently.

Of course the continuous defence of one’s interests costs money. But the lobby organization working for the preservation of bees in Europe also manages to employ full-time professional activists. Do not ask me where their money comes from, but they do succeed.

I have made this appeal earlier, and those who feel they can take on the challenge in the European capital Brussels, please contact the editorial staff of this magazine. A lot is at stake, particularly our insecure future. Regardless of the illusion that the GLBT community has already achieved everything. It has only just begun. Who does not realize this now, will have to experience it sooner or later. And yes, we will find the money.

Yours sincerely,

De Ket



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