The Hague, January 15, 2020,

LGBT residents of The Hague feel less and less safe on the street and in their private environment. Research by the Ministry of Justice shows that 7 out of 10 LGBT people experience violence or bullying. They cannot walk embraced or hand-in-hand without worrying about their safety. Even when going out and playing sports, they cannot express themselves sufficiently in the same way as non-LGBT people. And the suicide rate among LGBT youth is five times higher than among non-LGBT young people (SCP 2010). 

In the living environment there is regularly unacceptable behavior by people who do not accept equal rights and freedoms. Where the situation should improve, some LGBT people experience decline.

When it comes to reporting of discrimination, insult, bullying, threats and violence, LGBT people increasingly feel that it is useless to knock on the door of the government. It cannot go on like this.

Therefore the new mayor of The Hague must be a strong candidate on this subject. LGBTI interest group COC Haaglanden has sent the municipality recommendations for the preliminary profile that will be discussed by the Board committee on 29 January.

The new mayor that these residents of The Hague will need in the coming years is someone who is not prepared to accept concessions when it comes to the right to safety, freedom and protection of the identity of LGBT residents in The Hague. Not only on paper, but also in everyday life. A mayor from The Hague who listens to voices from the LGBT community and their advocates, but also interacts with them on their own initiative and intervenes where and when necessary. A mayor who recognizes that this example is followed and wants to see this realized within the municipal apparatus, by creating a working environment as an employer in which acceptance of LGBT people is a starting point and not a final piece and expecting municipal officials to propagate this policy.

COC Haaglanden has stood up for the interests of lesbians, gay, bisexual and trans people since 1947. We are committed to equal rights, emancipation and social acceptance in the Hague region.

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