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Mayor of
Amsterdam stands up for gay rights

Mayor of
Amsterdam stands up for gay rights

The mayor of Amsterdam has sent a letter to mayors throughout Europe urging them to support gay rights.

In a letter to the mayors of eight other European capitals, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen has called on his counterparts to support and uphold the rights of gays and lesbians, the BBC reports. In the letter Cohen warns that intolerance of gays and lesbians is on the increase and that support for gay rights is now critical.

The Netherlands began offering full marriage rights to gay couples five years ago, and Cohen is urging other countries to do the same. Mayors in Warsaw, Prague, Lisbon, Dublin, and Vienna are among those who have been sent copies of the letter. Cohen has also written to leaders in the Baltic capitals of Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; and Vilnius, Lithuania, as well as European Union justice commissioner Franco Frattini.

The move is the result of a motion passed by city councillors upset about recent attacks on gays in Amsterdam. In the letter Cohen says he is "concerned" by measures in some cities to ban gay demonstrations. He calls on mayors to "adhere to the universal declaration of human rights and to do everything in your political power to open up marriage for same-sex couples and safeguard the right of public demonstrations in your city," Agence France-Presse news agency reports. (The Advocate)

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