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Christian Democrats: gay policy ‘anti-religious’

27 March 2007 - The city administration has adopted large part of a paper on gay policy entitled ‘Ten commandments for a dazzling Gay Amsterdam’, according to the CDA. The CDA finds the choice of words ‘antireligious’ and wants to debate the issue next week in the city council.

Party leader Maurice Limmen told Katholiek Nederland that his party is not against the plans themselves, but against the use of the term ‘Ten commandments’. According to Limmen, religious people may feel this is offending and anti-religious.

If private persons had used the term, this would have been acceptable in Limmen’s eyes. “But it is something different for the city administration to adopt such language uncritically. They should speak on behalf of all Amsterdammers, including religious citizens”.

The ChristenUnie has no problem with the wording, but does object to the contents of the policy. According to chair Chris van Andel, the plan will be counter effective.

“It is called emancipation, but in fact they create a separate place for homophile people”, Van Andel told Reformatorisch Dagblad. “Take for example the suggestion to change the Reguliersdwarsstraat and the Halvemaansteeg into special gay streets. Is that not exaggerated? Will I be allowed to walk there in the future, being a heterosexual man?”

Since the Christian parties have a weak position, it is unlikely that their criticism of the plans will have any effect.

The Ten Commandments have been developed to do something about the ‘crumbling acceptation of homosexuality in Amsterdam. The plan includes better legal assistance for victims of violence, the creation of a gay museum, HIV prevention and collaboration with immigrants’ organisations.

Also, the surroundings of the Reguliersdwarsstraat and the Halvemaansteeg are to be changed into something of a gay Chinatown, by placing rainbow banners.

The Ten Commandments are an initiative of private organisations. The VVD has subsequently issued a paper on how the municipality and the Centrum district can support the initiative.


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