- The larger part of Dutch society had rejected sexual relationships between members of the same sex until the last decades of the 20th century. Although things have changed rapidly since then, discrimination of gays and lesbians still exists, particu larly in dogmatic religious circles. During the Republic, sodomites could be executed. About 1730, for example, persecutions spilled over from Holland and Utrecht to the province of Groningen, where a mass execution of 22 men and boys took place. Acontrary opinion, however, was given in an anony mous tract in 1776–1777, which was attributed to Abraham Perrenot (1726–1784), a legal advisor to Stadtholder William V, taking sodomites under its wing. It said they should be considered criminals only when the act was committed with underage boys. In 1803, the last execution for sodomy took place in Schiedam, and the French pe nal code of 1811 brought its decriminalization. The liberal1886 Par liament abolished penalties on same-sex contacts and set the mini mum age of consent at 14; this was raised by the Christian Democrats to 21 (and for heterosexuals to 16) in 1911. The Nazi regime during World War II was another tough period for homosexual men. In 1946, the Cultuur- en Ontspanningscentrum (COC; Center for Culture and Entertainment) was founded as a societyfor the emancipa tion of gays and lesbians. After a few decades in which the COC had to operate cautiously because homosexuality was not yet accepted by the Dutch, the club could show itself more openly beginning in the 1970s. In 1971, the age of consent for hetero- and homosexual contacts became the same, at 16 years old. Two years later, homosexuality was no longer permitted as a reason to reject a person for army service. During the 1990s, the COC and other interested parties focused on obtaining civil marriages for gays and lesbians, which was achieved in 2001 (registra tion of partnership had already been granted in 1998), as well as adop tion of Dutch children by gay couples.Present gay magazines include the GayKrant (1980– ) and Expreszo (1988– ). The Canal Parade has been a popular part of the yearly Am sterdam Gay Pride celebration since 1996. See alsoTOLERATION.
Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. EdwART. 2012.
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