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A year after its introduction, the Dutch Immigration and Nationalisation Service (IND) still has poor implementation of the new asylum policy for LGBTIs. Dutch interest group COC Netherlands (COC) illustrates this on the basis of seventeen examples in a letter to the new State Secretary for Asylum and the Dutch Lower House.

Aug 2019       
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The Dutch Lower House is positive about the appointment of discrimination investigators at the police. This became apparent early July during a vote on a proposal from Vera Bergkamp (D66), Kirsten van den Hul (PvdA) and Nevin Ozutok (GroenLinks).

Aug 2019       
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The gay revolution broke loose in the years following 1969, and it was certainly a left-wing movement: much needed to change, and some of it completely. What had to be done differently throughout Europe was legislation and, as we know now, this would take some time. For instance, in the United Kingdom, where Clause 28 (now comparable to the Russian anti-gay propaganda law) was first enacted in May 1988 and abolished in 2003.

Jul 2019       
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A report from Glaad shows that the Trump administration has been guilty of gay and transgender discrimination of and attacks on gay and transgender people on more than 100 occasions since Donald Trump became President of the US.

Jul 2019       
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The Kenyan Supreme Court has ruled that the statutory articles making homosexuality in Kenya a crime are not unconstitutional, resulting in homosexual acts in Kenia remaining illegal and punishable with between 4 and 15 years imprisonment.

Jul 2019       
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New York gets a statue for two champions of transgender rights, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. According to Mayor De Blasio, it will be one of the first monuments for Transgenders ever.

Jul 2019       
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The Trump administration is working on a bill that will make healthcare and protection largely impossible for transgender people. It is the umpteenth anti-transgender and anti-gay bill that is introduced under the presidency of Donald Trump.

Jun 2019       
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On February 22, 1943, the twenty-four-year-old Hans Scholl, his twenty-one-year-old sister Sophie, and their twenty-three-year-old fellow fighter Christoph Probst were executed by means of guillotine as members of the White Rose resistance group by the Nazi regime.

Jun 2019       
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Perhaps gay life in Europe in the 1920s became somewhat livelier, but with the rise of Hitler and the Nazis it certainly became bleaker when murder became the rule. In its initial phase after 1917 the Soviet Union may have preached progress and justice, but that came to an end immediately after the civil war and completely with the arrival of the totalitarian Stalin and the introduction of anti-gay legislation.

May 2019       
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LGBTI interest groups COC Netherlands, TNN and NNID are angry about the unambitious "action plan" against anti-LGBTI violence that Minister Grapperhaus (Security) has sent to the Dutch Lower House last April. The interest groups are asking members of the Lower House to ask Grapperhaus questions about this lack of ambition, and demand that further measures against violence are taken.

May 2019       
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Between June 27 and July 12, 1942, four pamphlets were distributed by post under several hundred “carefully chosen” people in Germany. The anonymous pamphlets, in rather high-spirited and highly intellectual prose full of quotes from well-known German poets, called for passive opposition to Adolf Hitler.

May 2019       
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What influence did all those innovations on the subject of homosexuality we discussed last month have? The old narrative of sodomy, fornication, pederasty and tribadism disappeared and gave way to a new view of homosexuality, uranism, the third sex, sexual psychopathy, sexual inversion by those who themselves were authors, wrote novels and letters, and of doctors working on articles and books.

Apr 2019       
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A social services employee in the Dutch town of Bunschoten suggested to one of the town's inhabitants that it would be better if he left the community. "Because being gay is still an issue, if you know what I mean?", the civil servant said.

Apr 2019       
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Rob Jetten is concerned about the emancipation of the LGBT community. Lesbian women, homosexual men, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people sometimes take a step back under pressure from cultural tension. Homosexuals in the Netherlands, for instance, think twice before walking hand-in-hand.

Apr 2019       
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This year, the Pride is dedicated to the history of the before and after of the Stonewall riots (end of June 1969), which many gay - and straight - people view as the beginning of the gay movement. In the Netherlands, we are proud the fact that six months earlier, on January 21, 1969, young homosexuals and lesbians protested at the Binnenhof, the square in front of Dutch parliament in The Hague.

Mar 2019       
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For young people it is difficult to imagine that the most important place for men to have gay sex in the period before 1970 was in public urinals and sometimes parks.

Feb 2019       
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Gay lobby group COC Netherlands has again asked for an investigation into the penalisation of homosexuals in the 20th century. The COC is making this urgent request in a letter to the Dutch Lower House and Minister Ollongren, Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Feb 2019       
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VVD State Secretary Mark Harbers (Asylum) promised improvements to the implementation of the government's LGBTI asylum policy during a debate in the Lower House.

Feb 2019       
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There will be a large and independent international investigation into the human rights violations in Chechnya and includes the persecution of homosexuals in this Russian Republic. The investigation was announced by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) early November.

Dec 2018       
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IHLIA with pride. Forty years of IHLIA, the forty years from “Lesbian Archives” and “Homodok” to the LGBT Heritage Centre. IHLIA is on the look-out for a new generation that will bring the centre into the next forty years. What was the energy that led to the creation of the centre, who initiated it, what did we do with it, as well as the question: is the world of yester-year that much different from the world of today?

Dec 2018       
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In his famous anthology from Dutch nineteenth and twentieth century poetry in thousand and some poems (1979), the compiler, Gerrit Komrij, used the maximum number of ten poems by Johan Andreas Dèr Mouw (1863-1919). A tribute that few poets were lucky enough to get. Author F. Borderwijk has stated he was “probably the greatest poet our country ever produced.” Various scholars have written a thesis on him. And now, nearly a hundred years after his death, there are (again) a new biography and an anthology.

Dec 2018       
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Three organizations on Curaçao that are fighting for equal rights and sexual diversity, presented a bill to Parliament during Gay Pride in the capital Willemstad. This bill should make same-sex marriage possible, among other things.

Nov 2018       
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In the nearly forty years I have worked for gay magazines, either as an contributor or editor, I have interviewed a large number of people who are no longer with us. In 1990, for instance, I visited fashion designer Frank Govers in his dark furnished apartment on one of the Amsterdam canals in connection with an article for “Clique.”

Oct 2018       
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The municipality of Amstelveen signed a declaration of intent with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) in order to become a Rainbow City. This means that Amstelveen will jointly develop policies for the promotion of the social security, resilience and acceptance of LGBT persons in Amstelveen.

Oct 2018       
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Last July, Deutsche Post issued a special stamp on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) as the founder of the first LGBTI organization in the world. This is the very first time Deutsche Post issued a seal with an LGBTI theme.

Sep 2018       
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In view of the sheer size of European royal families it was to be expected - and although you will never know for sure with that aristocratic restraint - probably sooner than later: a same-sex marriage within a royal family. That time has now come.

Aug 2018       
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“Those were the gays my friend / They fought so fervently / Against taboos and drab clichés / With their persistent drive / They have liberated us...” These lines by Amsterdam gay icon Dolly Bellefleur are, put in the present tense, fully applicable to the participants of this year’s Istanbul Pride.

Aug 2018       
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None of the remaining documents about the Stijkel group mention homosexuality, nor their personal lives. Schorer was extremely cautious and discreet in mentioning other homosexuals, as it was something one had better kept a secret. He does refer to other members of the Stijkel group who also were “like that,” but we can only guess. Again, we know nothing.

Jul 2018       
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From July 23 till July 27, scientists, policy-makers, activists and politicians will travel to Amsterdam for the largest global health conference: AIDS 2018. They gather for the twenty-second time to discuss solutions to end this global epidemic.

Jul 2018       
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“That he (= the homosexual), out of love for the fatherland and for his fellow man was no less involved in bygone war years is more than clearly evident. There are, among other things, numerous accounts of persons in hiding being taken in and helped on by homosexuals. I know of numerous examples, one of which involves no less than eight Jewish countrymen being taken in by a homosexual couple, hidden and cared for, while putting their own lives at risk."

Jun 2018       
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Disappointment for hundreds of Cuban asylum seekers. There will be no situation report on Cuba. LGBT Asylum Support is extremely disappointed that there will be no thematic situation report made on LGBTI people in Cuba. State Secretary Mark Harbers has informed the organization of this by letter.

May 2018       
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In a letter to Mark Harbers of Asylum (VVD), COC Netherlands calls on the state secretary to make getting asylum in the Netherlands easier for LGBTIs from Cuba. According to the gay interest organization, the situation of LGBTIs in the Central American country is still very poor.

Apr 2018       
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On Friday, February 2, Ali Erol, a prominent Turkish human rights activist and a founder of Kaos GL Association, Turkey’s first registered GLBT organization, was arrested and detained in a home he shares with his partner. Clear indications of the purpose of his arrest are yet unknown, though Kaos GL has reported that Erol’s social media posts were included in the authorities’ detention warrant.

Mar 2018       
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Austria has stricken the law that hinders the introduction of gay marriage. The Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex partners can get married from 2019 onwards.

Jan 2018       
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Gert Hekma delivered the sixteenth annual Mosse Lecture. We already published the first part, and now follows the second and last installment, for What did fifty years of gay acceptance actually bring us?

Jan 2018       
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The parliament of the Dutch county Limburg has declared the province a Rainbow Province. A Rainbow Province is a county that will implement policy to advance the safety and rights of the LGBTI community.

Dec 2017       
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Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath of Curaçao, and independent country within the Dutch commonwealth, held a speech at the opening of Curaçao Pride, calling for more LGBTI acceptance in an inclusive society in which everyone can develop and be themselves. The LGBTI movement on Curaçao already considers his speech as 'historic'.

Nov 2017       
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In the past few weeks at least 50 people were imprisoned during raids against the LGBTI community in the former Soviet republic. Various sources in the region have reported that, in the past few weeks, the police have been targeting and arresting alleged LGBTIs through raids in the capital Baku.

Nov 2017       
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COC Netherlands is extremely concerned about the forthcoming appointment of Pete Hoekstra by President Donald Trump as US ambassador to the Netherlands. Hoekstra is known for his anti-gay views.

Sep 2017       
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The 45 Rainbow Cities want to continue their policy aimed at increasing social acceptance and the emancipation and security of LGBTIs. This intention is recorded in the declaration of intent Van Regenboog naar Horizon, which was presented at the city hall in Den Bosch during Pink Saturday 2017.

Aug 2017       
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Legal recognition of gender equality is gaining a bigger foothold in Europe. Same-sex partners are getting more access to more and more rights in more and more European countries. This is evidenced by research by legal scientists from Leiden and French demographers. They have published a detailed data bank and a comparative analysis on the subject.

Jun 2017       
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On March 31st, Gilbert Baker died in his sleep in his house in New York City. He was sixty-five years of age. “The cause of death is hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” Julie Bolcer, spokeswoman of the New York City medical examiner’s office stated. Baker has earned a place in our history for designing the rainbow flag in 1978.

May 2017       
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In the new Dutch Lower House there are now seven openly LGBTI MPs. Eleven so-called rainbow candidates were also elected - candidates who had registered with COCs election website GayVote, indicating that they are committed to LHBTI emancipation.

May 2017       
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The German government has approved the rehabilitation of men convicted of homosexual acts under section 175 of the Criminal Code in post-war Germany, as suggested in a bill by Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). In Germany, homosexual acts were a punishable offence between May 15, 1871 and March 10, 1994.

May 2017       
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Anniversaries are celebrated with gusto in many COC departments. Some even considered it a good idea to write down their own history and publish a book for educational and entertainment purposes. At best a few dates, including the formation, are recorded, as well as some memories from important events. Usually it contains the acquisition of the housing, and sometimes a beloved person - a commendable director or a prominent bar owner - is put in the limelight.

Apr 2017       
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In the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya homosexuals are widely persecuted because of their sexual orientation, independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports. The information has been confirmed by Human Rights Watch. In Chechnya, at least one hundred people were arrested without grounds, and three people were reportedly killed since the beginning of the year.

Apr 2017       
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As of last March same-sex couples can get married in Finland. This means that marriage is now opened up for same-sex couples throughout Scandinavia. A bill to make marriage for same-sex couples possible was already adopted in November 2014 by the Finnish Parliament and signed by the President of Finland in February 2015.

Apr 2017       
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The CDA party convention unanimously backed a proposal on the inclusion of an explicit prohibition of LGBTI discrimination in the Constitution. With this, a majority in parliament for such a ban is finally in sight. The COC has urged the CDA (Christen-Democratisch Appèl) to do so, and is extremely happy with the party’s decision.

Mar 2017       
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The United Nations General Assembly again gave its support to the independent LGBT human rights expert at the UN. A proposal by Burkina Faso to make the expert's work impossible was voted out. In cooperation with other organisations and governments, COC Netherlands has worked hard for this victory.

Feb 2017       
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News comes and goes, usually only the 'main' news-items are remembered, such as the Orlando shootings. But as the smaller news items usually bear as much sorrow and greef as for the people concerning it, below our yearly news overview, so we will not forget.

Feb 2017       
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The COC is positive about the first steps that were announced by the government in order to limit gender registration. COC Netherlands has been advocating this since November 2015. The interest groups call on the government to "quickly tackle this issue" and eventually abolish gender registration by the government.

Feb 2017       
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On the eve of the unification of Germany, the citizens of the Prussian capital Berlin attentively followed the reports on a serious sex crime. On a cold Sunday afternoon in January 1869, the five-year-old Emil Hancke had been lured away from his pals and was seriously abused and raped in an attic. Two years earlier, another boy had been killed under similar circumstances, in 1869 still an unsolved case.

Jan 2017       
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Corine van Dun (63) is 46th on the D66 candidate's list for next year's Lower House elections. Van Dun is President of Transgender Netwerk Nederland (TNN).

Dec 2016       
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Botswana expelled an American hate preacher and made him persona non grata after he called on the government to kill all homosexuals in Botswana in a local radio show. The organisation LeGaBiBo played an important part in the deportation.

Nov 2016       
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A report by a Russian and Ukrainian human rights organizations reveals that since the beginning of the Crimean Crisis in 2014, the situation for LGBTs in the Crimean and Eastern Ukraine has deteriorated.

Nov 2016       
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COC Netherlands and Minister Ard van der Steur discussed the safety of lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with an intersex condition. The gay interest group COC wants perpetrators of LGBT discrimination persecuted more often, and calls for performance agreements with the police and the Public Prosecution.

Nov 2016       
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On July 2, 2016, the monument for poet Jacob Israël de Haan was unveiled in Smilde, his place of birth. The monument stands in the beautiful park behind the old church of Smilde, not far from the synagogue with living quarters in which he was born. As a member of the board of the De Haan Society, Gert Hekma spoke the following appreciation.

Sep 2016       
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For many people, the Caribbean is the perfect holiday destination with an ideal combination of sun, sea, beaches, and historic sites. One of these tourist destinations is Belize, the former British Honduras, which is fully independent since 1981. A combination of natural circumstances, the climate, the Barrier Reef, numerous islands, excellent opportunities for fishing, safe waters for water sports, snorkeling and scuba diving, and the beautiful flora and fauna, has created a thriving tourism industry in the country.

Sep 2016       
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Reports in the press indicate that President Barack Obama is planning to honor the Stonewall Inn as the first ever National Monument dedicated to GLBT rights. The bar on Christopher Street in New York’s Greenwich Village was the site of riots on June 28, 1969.

Jun 2016       
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The Magistrate in Leeuwarden passed sentence that the owner of agricultural wholesaler De Boer in Drachten has to pay compensation to Bas van der Meer, the student who was refused an internship because of his homosexual orientation.

Jun 2016       
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