Amsterdam Gay Pride Week kicks off
The 14th edition of Gay Pride in Amsterdam officially started on Sunday, to culminate in a raucous parade along one of Amsterdam's famous canals.
Amsterdam – The 14th Gay Pride in Amsterdam kicked off on Sunday and will see the Dutch capital host a series of exhibitions, films, parties for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community before ending in a raucous canal parade on Saturday.
'ExtraOrdinary', this year’s theme, was chosen to emphasise the richness and diversity of the LGBT community as well as its contribution to society in general, said organisers ProGay.
In a bid to fight common, age-old stereotypical ideas about homosexuals, the organisation is emphasising that gays and lesbians are also successful entrepreneurs, politicians, writers, artists and athletes.
During the event's famous canal parade on Saturday, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen will marry five Dutch--US couples. The ceremony is partly designed as a message to the US government, which passed a federal law prohibiting same-sex couples marrying. A few states have introduced same-sex marriage laws but state law does not convey any benefits at the federal level.
While the Netherlands is known for its liberal policies on homosexuality, there has been an increase of 'gay bashing' incidents in the country.
On Wednesday night, one of the Pride organisers, Hugo Braakhuis, and a friend were insulted and assaulted outside an Amsterdam bar for being gay.
Braakhuis told De Telegraaf "gay emancipation here still has quite a way to go" but insisted that Amsterdam Pride – in particular the canal parade – “will have to be a party”.
For more information, including the complete Gay Pride programme, visit www.amsterdamgaypride.nl.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica