Europe » Belgium
Gay Guide Belgium
Belgium is a very open-minded and liberal country, the attitude towards homosexuality has also changed very positively, especially in the last decade, occasionally negative reactions cannot be totally excluded. The law enabling same-sex marriages was passed in 2003, Belgium being the second country in the world after the Netherlands in that respect. Homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexual citizens and are not excluded from military service as in many other countries. At the end of 2006, the adoption law for homosexual couples came into force. The age of consent for sexual intercourse is generally 16. Belgium is divided into three language-based communities: a Flemish-speaking community of about 6 million citizens in the north and in Brussels, a French-speaking community in the south, east and in Brussels with about 4.4 million citizen, and the tiny German-speaking community along the German border of a size of about 70,000. Each of these language-based communities have its own parliament and its own government, which is responsible for the preservation of the language, cultural policy, education and health care, to name just a few. In addition to these communities there are also the regions: these are territorially defined and include Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the southeast of the country and the Brussels-Capital region right in the middle of Belgium. These regions also have their own parliaments and governments, which are responsible, among other things, for economic policy. The federal government in Brussels takes care of public finances, the state budget, foreign relations, defence, domestic policy issues, the police, justice and social security systems. From December 2011 to October 2014, Elio di Rupo was Belgian Prime Minister and the first openly gay head of government in the world.
Cities in Belgium
Location: Western Europe
International country code: 32 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: French, Dutch, also German in one province
Religions: 75% Roman Catholic
Climate: Moderate climate with mild winters and cool summers.
Important gay cities: Bruxelles/Brussel, Antwerpen, Gent