The Netherlands and Equal Rights for LGBTIQ+
On April 1st 2001, the Netherlands was the first country to acknowledge same-sex marriage. Four couples were married that day and soon, more couples followed. Discrimination is unlawful and same-sex couples have been able to adopt children in the Netherlands since 2001.
Every year, the city of Amsterdam hosts the Gay Pride with boat parading through the canals to support the LGBTIQ+ community. It grew out from a small event in 1996 to an internationally well-known event with over 350.000 people visiting it every year.
The Netherlands was a pioneer back then and we still stand strong in supporting equal rights for LGBTIQ+. Although equal rights are still not at the point we want it to be, with our human rights policy, the Netherlands is trying to establish justice and respect for all. We believe that doing so is a moral and legal obligation, not just for us, but also for a more stable and prosperous world.
Despite these improvements, the LGBTIQ+ community still meets many inequalities in various countries, where it is still considered a crime to express your sexual orientation.
The Netherlands seeks
○ To abolish criminalization of homosexuality
○ To oppose discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity
○ To achieve wider social acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people
The Netherlands tries to achieve these goals by systematically raising these issues in international forums; through the Human Rights Fund, and in bilateral relations. Together with other NATO state members and with the EU we seek to create guidelines to abolish violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people and create equal rights. The Netherlands will also play an active role for LGBTIQ+ persons in political dialogues, maintain ties with local LGBTIQ+ organizations, support Gay Pride events, and pay attention to the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT, 17 May).
The Netherlands and the LGBTIQ+ Community in Japan
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo has hosted several meetings and events with Japanese partner associations, and is always interested to host or co-host events that reflect its policy of promoting acceptance of LGBTIQ+.