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A Decade of Equality in the Netherlands

A Decade of Equality in the Netherlands


As the Netherlands marks 10 years of marriage equality this month, the initial sponsor of same-sex marriage legislation in the country celebrates what the rational among us know to be true: The sky has not fallen.

"A decade later, of the nearly 75,000 civil marriages that take place in the Netherlands each year, about 1,400 involve same-sex couples," Boris O. Dittrich, advocacy director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch and the first openly gay member of parliament in the Netherlands, wrote in a Sunday op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. "Heterosexual couples did not turn away from the institution of marriage, nor did the world isolate my country. Civilization as we know it did not end. And, as far as I can tell, God did not punish the Netherlands."

Dittrich wrote that marriage equality will eventually become a reality in the United States as well, but called for bolder leadership:

"It takes political courage at the very top to push though the legal changes for same-sex marriage," Dittrich wrote. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if, during President Obama's administration, this shameful era of discrimination were brought to an end, and gay marriage became as unremarkable as it deserves to be."

Read the full op-ed here.

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