The Westland politicians want to talk to COC Haaglanden and DWH about how they can help improve the living environment for people who organize their lives differently than the average Westlander. That is what they say during the 'Pink Council debate' election meeting on 22 February.

'My daughter has two mothers. But the teachers at her school have no idea', a resident of Westland says angrily to the politicians who participate in the Pink Council debate that will take place on February 22 in the Westland Poppodium Nederland 3. 'And the housing corporation keeps asking what my husband actually does. .' The Pink Council Debate is an initiative of COC Haaglanden and DWH to talk to politicians in the run-up to the municipal elections on 21 March about themes that are important for lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals, transgenders and people with an intersex condition (LGBTI). On the basis of statements, politicians discuss with each other and with the audience about the buttons that the municipality can turn to improve the living climate in Westland for this group.

Rainbow Municipality
Westland is a Rainbow Municipality: this means that the municipality has explicitly stated that it wants to make an effort for the emancipation of LGBTI people. During the debate, statements such as 'The municipality encourages guest lectures on information about sexual and gender diversity in all schools.' All politicians agree with that statement. But why do Westland schools make so little use of the (in some months free) offer of the GGD? In any case, it is not something the municipality should do anything about, according to Leen Snijders of the ChristenUnie-SGP and Peter Duijsens of Westland Wise. On the other hand, Lianda Heijl (VVD) and Dennis Chafiâ (CDA) think that an 'experience expert' in the classroom is a good idea. The parties immediately clashed violently about another statement, 'The municipality uses the form of address 'dear resident' in letters because of gender inclusiveness. 'You shouldn't push people against the grain', says Remmert Keizer (Westland Municipality). According to Chafiâ it is necessary, but it takes time and Aadje van der Ende (LPF) is relentless: 'We must not overshoot.' That Van der Ende has no need for it is not an argument for Maxim van Ooijen (D66). 'We're not here for ourselves. We have a responsibility for the transgender and intersex people in the municipality.'

The debate is already coming to an end when the lesbian mother takes the floor. The politicians reacted mixed. Van Ooijen: 'I will raise this the next time I speak to school boards. It cannot be that a school does not know what kind of family a child comes from. Nor is it possible for the housing association to react in this way. I am happy with this signal.' Chafiâ: 'As a municipality, we should definitely listen to this. But it's a long-term thing.' Another speaker is not satisfied with that: 'You already said that four years ago. But what is the municipality going to do now? This is not an incident, I hear from more young people that homosexuals can count on little acceptance. Westland is a bit conservative.' Duijsens believes that this is about behavioral change, and that the municipality has no influence on it. Heijl invites the speakers for a discussion with her group. Nico de Gier (PvdA) recognizes the problem of conservative civil servants: 'My wife wants to use her own name. That takes a lot of effort here.' Ilona Rozenboom (GroenLinks) would like to seek cooperation and enter into a dialogue. The story is new to Keizer. 'The problem is not an issue at my children's school.' Snijders and Van der Ende also do not recognize themselves in the story of the speakers. They also receive a specific commitment. The politicians will sit down with COC Haaglanden and DWH to see what measures the municipality can take.

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