Celebrating 25 years of Same-Sex Marriage
In 2026, it will be a quarter of a century since The Netherlands opened civil marriage and for the first time in world history members of our community could officially wed. On April 1st 2001, the first 4 same-sex couples got wed by the mayor of Amsterdam. Two years later Belgium followed and fourteen years later marriage equality was also a fact in The United States. We would like to celebrate this silver jubilee together with the rest of the world and draw attention to the struggle in those countries where we still must suppress our true feelings.
In 2021 we celebrated 20 years of ‘Legal Love’ and the fact that nowadays same-sex couples can marry in 29 countries.
As a parliamentarian Boris Dittrich played a significant role in the whole legislative process and in convincing everybody (including the LGBT movement) to open up civil marriage to same-sex couples. Check this video in which he talks about it.
It’s a big achievement that in 20 years 1 billion people live in a country where we are free to love who we want and get married with whom we choose. But on the other hand, it means that still 6 billion people live in one of the other 167 countries where we are not treated equally and don’t have the same rights as heterosexuals. We Dutch feel that our freedom comes with a great responsibility and that we must keep on fighting and supporting our brothers and sisters in those countries where you cannot openly be free to be who you are and love who you want.
In 2019 our King used his voice to address the General Assembly of the United Nations for our cause around the world.
“The Kingdom of the Netherlands is pleased that in more and more places in the world the equal rights of gays, lesbians, transgenders and other minority groups are being mentioned in law. We hope that this development will continue. But in the end, it is the practice that counts. The fight against open and covert discrimination must continue on all continents.”
Of course, we know that also in our country itself still work is to be done. Legal multiple parenting for example is something we hope to have arranged in 2026. Even though some national sport foundations and churches start to open their doors for us, our fight for acceptance in church and sport is still necessary.
Why celebrate 25 years of same-sex marriage?
A WorldPride in Amsterdam could be an important milestone, a dot on the horizon to work towards together. Equal and acquired rights are under pressure in many places and it is clear that as an LGBTI community we need to speak up visibly and militarily. The opening up of civil marriage has brought about the first wave, but it is moving slowly. That is why the silver jubilee will once again inspire the world and connect with activities such as we like to organize WorldPride. The city of Amsterdam in the past often topped the lists when it came to equal rights. The world-famous Canal parade and the organization of the Gay Games and EuroPride in 1994 and 2016 put our city on the maps.
The WorldPride is unique and offers the opportunity to regain the lost title of ‘Gay Capital of the World’ by working together towards an inclusive society with everyone in the Netherlands and in our Kingdom. That is why it is important that we work out our candidacy in the coming period into a ‘bid’ with which we present ourselves to the world.
How will we celebrate WorldPride 2026?
Because it should be an event for and by the entire community, we have invited all important LGBTI organisations, including the alliances Pride & Visibility and BIPOC, to participate in the WorldPride 2026 brainstorm group. The intention is to jointly develop a great program to come up with an offer and to see which organizations could possibly take care of which parts. We will first make an online inventory of ideas and organize two physical meetings in 2022. If all goes well, the group will meet up on Tuesday 25 January and Thursday 21 April.
Come and join the bidding team!
Do you have ideas for WorldPride 2026 and/or are you (or your organization) able to contribute in any way? Mail us [email protected]