Tech & Rights

Dutch Parliament Votes to Punish Schools for Not Offering Gay Education

The Dutch Second Chamber (Lower House) voted on April 11 to punish schools that do not include education about being gay. The ruling center-right party VVD voted against the proposal, along with only two tiny conservative fringe parties.

by Willem Knigge
Almost the entire Second Chamber chose to support the initiative in a motion proposed by socialist-MP Jasper van Dijk, reports state broadcaster NOS.

Mister Van Dijk's proposal sets out a plan to financially sanction or take regulatory action against schools who consequently refuse to inform children about sexual diversity. He states that giving such education to children helps the fight against discrimination.

The Dutch Education Inspectorate currently estimates that 20 percent of Dutch lower and middle schools do not offer education on being gay, even though they have been obliged by law to do so since 2012.

Another proposed motion by Van Dijk, also passing by a large margin, includes a plan to introduce lessons on being gay at vocational schools. 40 percent of Dutch vocational schools do not do so currently.

VVD dissent

The conservative-liberal party VVD voted against both proposals. It is currently the senior coalition partner ruling in a caretaker capacity after winning the Dutch general elections last month. The VVD no-vote on sanctioning schools was only followed by two tiny conservative fringe groups, the SGP (conservative-Christians) and the FvD (right wing conservative-democrats).

According to VVD MP Yesilgöz, the party does not want to interfere in the business of the Education Inspectorate. Yesilgöz also states that the VVD prefers to view Dutch education curriculum as a whole instead of examining just one element.

The MP did not make any elucidating remarks on how this last statement equates to the rather specific proposals on elements of the education system and programs in the party's election program (in Dutch).

The proposal comes just after public outrage sparked by the beating up of two young gay men for walking hand in hand, by a group of hoodlums armed with a pair of bolt cutters.


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