It is bizarre, to say the least, that at a time when the Netherlands is worried about losing its image as a gay-friendly country, justice ministry officials seem to regard calling someone ‘homo’ as an insult.
While the term may have derogatory undertones in English, and is often (insultingly) coupled with the word ‘dirty’ in Dutch, homo is a quite acceptable term in itself in the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, the public prosecution department has decided to appeal against the magistrate who said a 19-year-old youth was not insulting a police officer by calling him a ‘homo’ during the New Year’s Eve celebrations. According to ANP, the officer involved felt his ‘good name’ had been damaged.
If the Netherlands is really as gay friendly as it likes to think, then surely no-one should feel insulted by being called ‘gay’. The public prosecution department’s persistence in wasting tax-payer’s money on this lawsuit seems to be implying that there is something not right about being gay.
Surely, if officialdom really wants to take a stand, it should be trying to stop young men using the word as a perceived insult in the first place. And the fact that it was shouted at a police officer is completely irrelevant.
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