If it were up to the candidate state members for the province of South Holland, LGBTI people – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, people with an intersex condition and all others who feel at home with this group – will come into the picture more prominently than is currently the case. More attention should also be paid to their safety. This is what twelve participants in the 'Pink Election Debate South Holland' promise.

“As far as GroenLinks is concerned, the fact that South Holland is a rainbow province also means that money must be made available for it,” says Anneloes van Hunnik of GroenLinks. “Small municipalities should also be a rainbow municipality and should in any case have an LGBTI policy.” Jeffrey van der Elst of the Local Parties South Holland believes that in small municipalities more should be done in the field of safety. “You almost need police escort there if you want to raise a rainbow flag.”

rainbow flag
During the Pink Election Debate South Holland, which the three South Holland COCs – Haaglanden, Leiden and Rotterdam Rijnmond – organized on Friday 1 March in Dudok in The Hague, the twelve participants will debate statements such as the importance of the rainbow flag, LGBTI emancipation and meeting places. According to PVV candidate Henk de Vree, raising the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day is symbolic politics. “That flag is hoisted in the courtyard of the Provincial House. But that does not increase the safety of LGBTI people.” But it is not a meaningless symbol”, Lucien van der Place of Code Orange counters. “People say they feel welcome when they see a rainbow flag.” Moreover, visibility is needed to stimulate awareness. Ellen Verkoelen of 50Plus: “There were rainbow flags everywhere when the Nashville statement was published. That makes me super proud. That way we can start a conversation with each other.” It is better to hoist the rainbow flag on the outside of the Provincial House, suggests Rense Weide of the VVD. All candidates agree with him. It was decided on the spot to arrange this immediately after the elections.

More variants
The province should refuse subsidies to organizations that do not pursue a positive LGBTI policy, is one of the statements. D66 member Kirsten Wilkeshuis sees something in that. “Thinking in girls and boys is so natural. Politicians should aim to make people aware that there are more variants.” The CDA is also in favor of an active rainbow policy for the province. Danny de Vries: “The province can play a connecting role. For example, we want to bring Europride to Rotterdam.”

Pink network
Most candidates would also like a 'pink network drink' at the provincial government. SGP'er Gerard van de Breevaart: “Each group has the right to work for the province. LGBTI people can put themselves on the map. But there are even more groups in society that need attention.” Lies van Aelst of the SP sees a pink network as a start: “It can spread like an oil slick. The change starts with us.” The province must ensure that it mainly does business with companies and organizations that support LGBTI emancipation, says Paulien van der Hoeven of the PvdA: “We should invest more in that.” Carla van Viegen, party leader for the Party for the Animals: “It's about awareness and connection. We are for the emancipation of LGBTI people. Awareness arises in discussion.”

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