Rights Groups Bring Pressure for LGBTI Protection in Dutch Constitution

Dutch rights groups are calling on the country's interior minister to express the need to explicitly prohibit LGBTI discrimination in the Constitution.

On behalf of six LGBTI organizations, Dutch LGBTI rights group COC Netherlands sent a letter to Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren calling for a change to the Dutch Constitution.

In the government's coalition agreement and COC's Rainbow Agreement, political parties promised to explicitly prohibit LGBTI discrimination in the Constitution.

'Gay lists'

With the explicit prohibition of discrimination, COC wants to ensure that the legal achievements for LGBTIs can not be undone in the future, if LGBTI acceptance is put under pressure. The Constitution is in the first place an assignment to the Dutch legislature.

COC chairman Tanja Ineke also asked Minister Ollongren to further investigate how the Dutch government discriminated against LGBTI people in the past.

The government recently announced that an investigation is being carried out into so-called gay lists that municipalities kept in the 1950s. COC proposes to expand that research. For example, it is well known that the police have in the past registered people who were homosexual but had done absolutely nothing wrong.

Rights on the islands

Furthermore, COC asks the minister to promote LGBTI emancipation on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten, to restrict gender registration and to promote a rapid ban on discrimination against trans and intersex persons in the General Equal Treatment Act.

COC sent the letter to Minister Ollongren on behalf of Transgender Network Netherlands (TNN), Dutch Network Intersex/DSD (NNID), Stichting OndersteBoven (lesbian* visibility), National Network Bisexuality (LNBi) and LCC Plus (the Christian LGBTI movement).