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Máxima to lend support to gay rights

Gay rights activist spoke of a ‘historically significant’ royal presence. ,,This is what we have been hoping for for a very long time", Mr. Frank Van Dalen of the Dutch Gay federation COC said.

C2a9rpe2_2891_2 Princess Máxima - here pictured during a meeting in Luxembourg - next week will attend a meeting where the four major cities of the Netherlands and the government will sign a convenant to enhance the social acceptance of gays and lesbians.

,,It is the first time a member of the royal family has attended a meeting with such significance for gays", Mr. Van Dalen said. ,,The Princess is in favour of equal rights of all groups in the Netherlands", a palace spokesman explained.

The cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht - will share educational programmes, discuss problems and how to solve them, and help other cities with similar issues. Major challenge is discussing homosexuality in schools, and get students to at least accept that it exists and should not be discriminated against.

Holland’s perceived tolerance towards gays and lesbians, who can legally marry, has come under pressure from the large immigrant and mainly muslim community, which does not share that acceptance. Recently the orhodox protestant political party SGP criticised Queen Beatrix for having sympathy for gay rights groups and the annual Gay Parade.

© GPD Netherlands Press Association; Photo by Royal Press Europe, Albert Nieboer


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