Almost half (42%) of homosexuals in the Netherlands feel less safe on the streets than they did a year ago and of these 38% claim to have been confronted by anti-gay sentiments, according to a new survey published on Tuesday.
Verbal insults account for 64% of anti-gay incidents, while 12% result in physical abuse, the survey indicates. It also found that homosexuals in Amsterdam are more fearful than in other parts of the country.
Of the total 23,000 people questioned, including 1,980 homosexuals and lesbians, 61% said the Netherlands is a gay-friendly country and 72% are in favour of gay marriages.
The survey which was carried out by the current affairs programme EenVandaag in collaboration with COC, the gay rights lobby group.
Reacting to the survey, COC chairman Frank van Dalen told ANP news service that he was shocked by the result: ‘These figures make it clear that good information about homosexuality is vital in schools.’
Many people feel Amsterdam is no longer the ‘gay capital of the world’ following a reported increase in attacks against homosexuals in Amsterdam over the past few years.
Earlier this month, two of the government coalition parties, Christian Democrats and Labour, called for tougher punishment for those who use violence against homosexuals.
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