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The Netherlands Hub



04/19/2007


Dutch Catholics Getting 'De-Baptized' To Protest Anti-Gay Pope

PopeBenThousands of Dutch Catholics have had enough of Pope Benedict's constant verbal attacks on gay people and are reportedly looking for a way to protest the homophobic pontiff by leaving the church all together.

Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the Church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl – "de-baptize.nl" – had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.

"Of course it’s not possible to be ‘de-baptized’ because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics," Roes told Reuters.

He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the Church.

About 28 percent of the population in the Netherlands is Catholic and 18 percent is Protestant, while a much larger proportion – roughly 44 percent – is not religious, according to official statistics.

In addition to protesting homophobia in the church's ranks, Roes says he's also furious over the Vatican's sexual abuse cover-ups. Another group of activists performed similar "de-baptisms" in The Netherlands last year.


Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Blasts Pope's Anti-Gay Politics

PopebenfingerFrans Timmermans is not amused by Pope Benedict's repeated attacks on gay people.

Speaking with RTL News, the Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister wondered how the Pope and his pals at the Vatican claim to respect everyone's uniqueness while simultaneously trying to squash sexual diversity.

"If every person is unique... then why should that unique person not have the right to stand up for their own sexual orientation?" said Timmermans. "Why can Romeo marry Julia but not Julius? Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual."

Of course, in the Vatican's eyes, sex is not so much about the individuals (married male and females, naturally) involved as it is about the individual is could - and they say should - create.


Dutch Caribbean Island Saba Legalizes Marriage Equality

Saba

Though The Netherlands approved marriage equality in 2001, they gave their various island municipalities more time to overcome local opposition. One of those islands, Saba, managed to do just that: officials held their first same-sex marriage there earlier this month, and it seems more are on the way.

From the Washington Post:

A speck of an island in the Dutch Caribbean has become increasingly popular with gay couples after legislators legalized same-sex marriages in a region still openly hostile to gays and lesbians.

Two men were recently married in Saba, marking the first ceremony of its kind in the region and setting off a frenzy of calls from gay couples in other Dutch Caribbean islands seeking to marry, said Julietta Woods with Saba’s Civil Registry office.”People keep calling me every second,” she said by telephone this week.

While Saba currently stands alone in approving same-sex marriages, Bonaire and St. Eustatius are expected to follow.

The other Dutch Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba have to recognize same-sex marriages but don’t have to legalize them because they have a more autonomous relationship with the Netherlands.

The paper reports France's Caribbean holdings Martinique and Guadeloupe are going to debate the matter as French authorities lay the groundwork for equality there.


Beautiful 'Everyone is Different' Dutch PSA Highlights Challenges, Promotes Acceptance of LGBT Youth: VIDEO

Eid

A beautiful PSA for a Dutch LGBT youth support group highlights the challenges faced by LGBT youth, telling the stories of several kids as they struggle to find acceptance among their peers while facing the individual realizations that they are, and can be different.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Eid2Wat

Continue reading "Beautiful 'Everyone is Different' Dutch PSA Highlights Challenges, Promotes Acceptance of LGBT Youth: VIDEO" »


The Netherlands Halts Deportation Of Illegal LGBT Iraqi Immigrants

Welkom

It's too bad this is news, and not standard policy everywhere: The Dutch government, recognizing that to be an out gay person in Iraq is to abide in mortal danger, has elected to grant blanket asylum to all illegal LGBT Iraqi immigrants. 

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

Koen van Dijk of the Dutch gay rights organisation COC described the announcement as an important victory for Iraqis who had fled the country because of their sexual orientation. According to van Dijk, Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for gay people: “Research has shown that 750 people have been murdered for this reason since 2003. There are systematic campaigns. Organised militias publicly declare that they’re hunting down people who exhibit ‘deviant’ behaviour and should be killed according to Islamic law.”

LGBT Iraqis will have to somehow "prove" that they're L, G, B, or T to remain in the Netherlands, which van Djik frankly admits will be a tricky business. Other countries have royally screwed up attempts to make similar determinations. The Dutch being the Dutch, it's reasonable to hope they will endeavor to err on the side of mercy and sanity.


Flying Car Takes Off: VIDEO

Palv

The Dutch-built PAL-V One, or Personal Air and Land Vehicle, has taken its maiden flight. Just don't get your rotors tangled up in anyone else's.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Flying Car Takes Off: VIDEO" »


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