Gays want ‘real’ equal rights

Homosexuals in the Netherlands may be able to marry, they still do not enjoy all the rights of heterosexual couples, gay organisation COC chairman Vera Bergkamp writes in a letter to prime minister Mark Rutte and parliament and reported in the Dutch press.


There are still too many councils where civil servants refuse to conduct gay marriages, according to Bergkamp. ‘It’s unthinkable that anyone refusing to marry Jews or people of colour would be protected,’ she writes.
The COC wants the government to introduce a bill that would put an end to this practice.
Children
The COC also wants the government to give gay couples the same rights when one of them has a child as heterosexual couples. ‘At the moment, the other mother has to adopt the child, a long, emotional and expensive process,’ she writes.
But a heterosexual couple who have a baby using a sperm donor do not have to go through the same process, she points out.
The third area where the COC wants equality is on family reunions. The government is planning to restrict reunions to couples who were married abroad. But most countries do not allow gay couples to marry, meaning they will miss out, Bergkamp says.
The Netherlands legalised gay marriage on April 1, 2001. Since then, nearly 15,000 couples have married.

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