Europe » Netherlands
Gay Guide Netherlands
The Netherlands is considered to be one of the most tolerant countries in the world. Discrimination on the basis of religion, philosophy, political persuasion, race, sex or any other ground, is forbidden according to a civil right that is found in Article 1 of the constitution. Moreover homosexuality has been sanctioned for almost a century. Nowadays education concerning homosexuality is more or less standard practice in schools, which contributes to recognition and mutual understanding. In 2001 the Netherlands was the first country in the world where same-sex couples can officially register their partnership and thereby set marriage on equal footing for all. Meanwhile a law has been adopted in which homosexual couples are allowed to adopt children. Since 2015 it is forbidden that state-supported religious schools can suspend teachers on the basis of their sexual orientation. The age of consent is 16 in Holland. From 2008, a Dutch insurance company will be the first in the world to offer health insurance specifically addressing gay requirements. The insurance package jointly developed with the Lesbian and Gay Association COC includes additional "pink elements" such as guaranteed treatment in gay-friendly hospitals and special home care support, naturally with a particular focus on HIV. The social climate for homosexuals is most agreeable in the Urban Agglomeration of Western Holland (the city triangle between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht). The gay scene is well represented in this area, although gay cafes are found practically everywhere in the Netherlands. Like in most European countries, problems with homophobia can be encountered in very small, rural towns.
Cities in Netherlands
Location: Western Europe
International country code: 31 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: Dutch, Frisian
Capital: Amsterdam, Den Haag (Government and Royal Residence)
Religions: 24% Roman Catholic, 15% Protestant, 5% Moslems, 6% other religions (Buddhist, Jewish, etc.)
Climate: Moderate and marine climate. Summers are cool, winters mild.
Important gay cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag