Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan has his own thoughts on the same topic.
Dutch Gays Turn Conservative
by H. Numan
If anything, the Dutch are a reasonably down-to-earth people. We pride ourselves on being straightforward, up to the point of being rude in the eyes of other nations. The national slogan could be “doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg” (just be yourself, that’s weird enough already).
In the past homosexuality was seen as a disease or a perversion at best. One could not hire a gay, for he might be blackmailed. Circular reasoning, of course. For if homosexuality wasn’t seen as something bad, there isn’t a reason for blackmail. Oops, there goes the argument so popular in the US armed forces…
The first political change came from the left. They embraced gays, knowing full well that most gays aren’t married, don’t have kids, and have consequently more income to spend and tend to do that. Hence, the strange idea that all gays are by definition left-wing oriented. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gays want to be themselves. Nothing more, nothing less.
It seemed for a while everything was going the right way: gay-bashing was almost eradicated. The general populace began to understand the world won’t end if gays are allowed to marry. The Netherlands was the first nation to — almost — give equal marriage rights to same sex marriages.
Almost, for if you ask for a marriage certificate, today, that document still has “husband” and “wife” on it. “Oh, yeah, well, don’t worry about that. That’s because of international treaties and some nations objecting to same-sex marriages. Nothing to worry about.” De jure it means the government doesn’t stand behind their policy internationally. Those nations objecting to gay marriages more often than not have the death penalty for being gay. Should the Dutch government start executing gays, just to be multiculturally acceptable? It seems the present government would mumble: “why, yes, of course”.
Then we got a new pressure group. The ones with beards and long, very long and extremely sensitive toes. These folks quickly replaced the gays as interest group on the left. First of all, because gays aren’t actually very vocal, whereas this group most certainly is. Secondly, this group breeds much faster than your common household bacteria. Thus, a lot of new voters in the near future. The only problem is that they have a difficult time deciding whom they hate the most: Jews, gays, infidels, atheists, women or certain (other) animals. Gays, however, rate very high on their hate list.
Before the year 2000 it seemed everything gays would like to achieve had been achieved. Gay bashing was almost gone, one could marry. No problems getting a job as a civil servant, or in the armed forces. Want to walk hand-in-hand with your partner? Why on earth not?
But after 2000 things began to change. Fast. Gay bashings were committed more and more. Not only in dark deserted places, but right out on the street in broad daylight. An American, Chris Craine, was viciously attacked in 2005 by juveniles of Moroccan origin. The only reason was that he was gay, and they would like to show off the fact that they are not. “Ah, nothing to worry about,” hushed the mayor of Amsterdam, over a cup of tea. “Just try to behave normally, so you don’t offend those people. It’s their culture you know; you have to respect them. And welcome to my gay-friendly Amsterdam!” Fortunately he took another sip of tea, otherwise he might have let slip: “you bloody faggots should know your place!”
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It wasn’t an isolated incident, as the by now desperate (2008) government would like you to believe. Last year during Gay Pride several gay people were attacked simultaneously in broad daylight in different parts of Amsterdam. Groups of Muslim juveniles now prey on gays, no matter where or at what time. One isn’t even safe in the gay red light district anymore. At the moment one doesn’t have to carry a gun (yet), but would surely be helpful and far more effective than the protection offered by the police. Guns are very illegal in Holland, but I would recommend a sturdy cane or strong umbrella. That isn’t (yet) illegal.
Teachers at “black” schools (school where the majority of pupils are Muslim or other ethnic minorities) today have to hide their sexual identity and their partner or spouse, as it is not accepted by their students. The few that were silly enough to let it slip out were pestered until they found employment elsewhere. School management… Well, what can I say? Perhaps that they have magnificent red rugs? Excellent for sweeping inconvenient truths under?
In the meantime, things changed. Remember Pim Fortuyn? He almost became prime minister, despite the fact he was gay, and very vocal about it. Vocal in the sense of: “Me, gay? Yeah. What about it?” You might call him a Teflon politician, but in a positive way. No slander ever stuck on Fortuyn. And believe me, people did try! Fortuyn showed the nation that being gay doesn’t mean you have to be automatically left-wing. It also showed conservative people that gays can be excellent politicians, or highly capable managers. Fortuyn was regrettably murdered, but his performance showed gays could do very well in the conservative camp.
Add two and two together: gays aren’t any more interested in being left-wing that you or me. They want to be themselves. No need to advertise your sexual preference, either way. You don’t shout from the rooftops you’re straight; neither do most gay people find it important to scream to the world they are gay. All they want is to be left in peace, and live their lives as they prefer.
It used to be possible only within the left wing camp to make a career as a gay politician. Fortuyn showed differently, and his stand pointed the way. Today many gays realize their bread and butter are conservative. They make on average more money than socialists find acceptable. They have become an embarrassment to the PvdA and SP; who have found a more profitable source of voters. Voters who have absolutely no problem in spouting as well as practicing virulent hatred, who are protected by a fascistic novel called the Koran.
Anything the Koran says goes. That is the present left-wing policy. Conservative parties have discovered Fortuyn wasn’t a screaming queer in drag. He was a man certainly worthy of leading a nation. So the ice has been broken, on both sides.
It’s now only a matter of time. Panta rei, as the old Greeks said.
Of course gays aren’t going to turn the country upside down, or enforce their sexual preference on others, much as Muslim would like to believe. But the change is there: little by little everybody who supported left-wing policies slowly see they have everything to lose, and nothing to gain by voting left. That is something we can thank those Muslim hooligans for. And of course both the left-wing parties (PvdA, SP, GL), as well as mainstream Christian parties, which in fact would be more than happy to accommodate Muslims here. The prime minister said so himself on his last trip in Indonesia.
Would you yourself be happy voting for, or being member of, a party that would rather see you in jail?
Neither do gay people.