Sunday, 11 November 2007
Gays encouraged to come out
The Dutch government has decided to allocate € 2.5 million to encourage gay people to come out to family, friends and colleagues. Education and Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk (picture) said: "The Netherlands has more than 900,000 gay and lesbian inhabitants, that's about 1 in every 16. During the last decades we have given homosexuals equal rights, and discrimination of gays is against the law, but there are still many gay men and women who are in the closet, especially those that live in conservative Christian and Muslim communities. The government will fund organizations that will go into communities, schools, sports clubs, etc. to provide objective information about homosexuality and encourage gays to come out. October 11 will be "coming-out day" every year, which will hopefully make it easier for (young) gays to be open about their homosexuality. The government has arranged the "hard side" of equal rights, now it is time to spend time, money and effort on making homosexuality really accepted in our country, by all and in every town and village, and within every religion."