Europe » Belgium
Gay Guide Belgium
Belgium is a very open-minded and liberal country. The general attitude towards homosexuality is very open-minded in Belgium. Actually the perception of homosexuality has dramatically changed in Belgium in the last decade or so. It does not mean that one does not encounter occasional negative reactions anymore. The Bill enabling the marriage among persons of the same sex was passed in 2003. Gay adoption came into force at the end of 2006. The age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16. Belgium is actually divided in 3 language based communities: the Flemish-speaking community in the North and in Brussels with roughly 6 millions people, the French-speaking community in the South, the East and in Brussels with about 4,4 million people and the tiny German-speaking community along Germany's border with more or less 70,000 people. Each community has indeed its own Parliament and Executive body. They are responsible for matters such as language, culture, education, medical care. In addition to the communities are the regions: these are territory-based and include Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the southern and the eastern parts of the country and the region of Brussels-Capital right in the middle of Belgium. Each Region also has a parliament and executive body, responsible for economic development and several other related topics. The Federal Government in Brussels is responsible for public finances, budget, foreign affairs, defence, home affairs, police, justice, social affairs and pensions. Ever since the early new elections in June 2010, Belgium has been trying to form a new government, which is turning out to be very difficult because of the great regional differences. A six-party coalition led by Elio di Rupo appeared to take shape in October 2011. But recurrent disputes within this coalition about budget plans prevented his election in parliament. Di Rupo then offered his resignation to King Albert II, but the king refused and called upon the parties to resume their talks - successfully. After 589 days of Belgium being governed by a provisional administration, di Rupo has finally been elected prime minister on December 6 and is hence the world's first openly gay head of government.
Cities in Belgium
Name: Belgique/België · Belgien · Bélgica · Belgio
Location: Western Europe
International country code: 32 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: French, Dutch, also German in one province
Area: 32 545 km² / 11,780 sq mi.
Currency: 1 Euro (€) = 100 Cents
Religions: 75% Roman Catholic
Climate: Moderate climate with mild winters and cool summers.
Important gay cities: Bruxelles/Brussel, Antwerpen, Gent