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Children need to learn about homosexuality, says mayor

Thursday 05 August 2010

Children could have lessons about homosexuality while they are at primary school because it is the ideal age to learn about norms and values, Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan says in an interview with free newspaper Spits on Thursday.

'Children have to learn that its normal in the Netherlands for two men to walk down the street arm in arm. I want to involve schools in that,' Van der Laan said.

In the interview, published two days before the annual Gay Pride celebrations, Van der Laan called for tougher action against people convicted of verbally and physically attacking gay men and women.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

NO, Mr Laan. That is rubish! And dont need to teach about sexuality (explicitly) neither. What you need to teach is to tolerate people, whatever they look like, whatever they behave like, as long as it does not harm any other people or make some disturbances. People need to mind their own business first and then go point fingers on others.
If this is what primary school learns then i want lesson about orthodox jews, muslims, happy naked people, punks and funny guys in girly jeans, also women in general. They all need to be tolerated in this still archaic world where being violent and agresive is some insecure form of feeling safe.

By Jon | 5 August 2010 2:44 PM

Children have to learn that its normal in the Netherlands for two men to walk down the street arm in arm pushing a pram perhaps?
We have lost the plot............

By Highlander | 5 August 2010 5:12 PM

I agree people should have equal rights under the law...proving you are a legal resident of county...whether they are gay or not. Along with rights comes RESPECT.whether man woman or child but teaching primary school children about homosexuality is a bit much early!! Rights and Respect yes but sexual preference should come later

By howard de barfield | 5 August 2010 7:33 PM

It is amazing to know that the Dutch understand the importance of teaching children of the many social issues that will sooner or later affect them in adulthood. Amazingly, Prop. 8 here in California has been overturned; however, the religious zealots are out to appeal and will attempt to once again pretend that homosexuality does not exist.
My husband and I want to be as open and honest with our daughter when she is capable of understanding such things. Why keep your child/ren in the dark or act like this doesn't occur out there in the world? One could only hope that the generation of our children are able to tolerate the many social changes that happens as time goes on. Its time to stop living in the Stone Ages and time to live in the NOW! Yay Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. We look forward to our entrance into Dutch society when we make our move over the big ocean!

By JBsMom | 5 August 2010 10:23 PM

"Children have to learn that its normal in the Netherlands for two men to walk down the street arm in arm pushing a pram perhaps?
We have lost the plot............"
Just as laws protect them in our country. Including adoption by lesbian and homosexual couples. Are you against of respecting our laws, perhaps? If you wanna live in our country, you must respect our laws.

By zenplus | 6 August 2010 2:10 PM

I try to imagine what my life would be like today if I learned from an early age that men loving men and women loving women was as natural and normal as men loving women. I wish I could get back all that time I wasted hating myself.

By Michael B | 6 August 2010 2:57 PM

We are a gay couple with two sons. When living in the Netherlands, our presence with our children was its own education for the elementary school aged kids (and their parents)--intended or not. What was important to us was there was a way that our family was generally accepted and officially normative even in the face of the occasional, expected questions and comments. I hope the teaching suggested is not about "sex" --we would not want that either--but about different kinds of families and relationships--

By Gabriel | 7 August 2010 9:37 AM

I guess you have a few issues about homosexuality. Maybe you've chosen the wrong place to live?

By John (expat from UK) | 7 August 2010 7:25 PM

I've been an American all of my life, but I must admit that the Dutch people are far more rational and thoughtful than the Majority of Americans. Teaching children to respect the rights and personal beliefs of others is paramount to the success of ANY decent society.
I only wish I could visit there, if not become a citizen. It truly looks as though the Netherlands is the place to be for true "Liberty and Justice for All."

Thank you for this article.


By Walt | 9 August 2010 2:50 AM

Some 10% of the world population is gay/bisexual, let's accept that and move on. Maybe it's a bit early to teach children about sexual orientation, but hey, won't these same children be getting little or rubbish sex ed from their parents anyways, which usually consists of 'don't get pregnant' or 'don't get her pregnant'?

By Natasha | 9 August 2010 1:55 PM

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