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Gay behind the Dikes. Homosexual Emancipation and Marriage in the Netherlands
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Gay behind the Dikes. Homosexual Emancipation and Marriage in the Netherlands

(Henk Krol) The Low Countries - 1996, № 4, pp. 59-64

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The Netherlands has an extremely liberal image abroad. For centuries, its almost proverbial tolerance created a climate in which people of other beliefs and ways of life were only too glad to seek refuge when in need of shelter from persecution. Even so, the liberal attitude towards gays and lesbians is not really of very long standing. Twenty-five years ago, the Dutch still despised or looked down on people who were ‘sexually different' . But this negative attitude changed very quickly, partly due to the relatively strong gay movement and its high media profile.

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