Dutch gay-rights activists protest Russian policy
AMSTERDAM — More than 2,000 gay-rights supporters protested in Amsterdam's largest square on Sunday, carrying signs, singing songs and chanting slogans to condemn Russia's homosexuality policies.
Demonstrators especially criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, with performers leading the crowd in cheering “Putin Out!” An enormous blow-up doll caricaturing the president flanked one side of the stage — flexing his muscles, bare-chested, and draped in a rainbow flag.
Protesters said the main concern is a law adopted by Russia's parliament in June making “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors” illegal.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan told the crowd he hopes the protest would send the message to Moscow that “love is not propaganda.”
Afterward, he said the city “is proud of its homosexual community, and they have the right to support from government” — not persecution. Amsterdam has a long history of tolerance of gay rights, including having the first gay marriages in 2001.
Van der Laan said he didn't know whether the message would reach Moscow, but the protest was “a matter of principle.”
“You have to say something at any rate,” he said. He called on the Dutch government to submit a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights.
Wijnand Looien, who traveled from the far south of the country to attend, said he believed such demonstrations make a difference.
“There's discussion about this everywhere,” he said.
The protest, titled “To Russia With Love,” was organized in response to a concert featuring a Russian state orchestra and choir on the far side of the square later in the evening.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Activists say Islamic State releases 19 Syrian Christians
- Nigerian mob kills girl suspected to be suicide bomber
- Russians pour into streets to mourn Putin’s foe Nemtsov
- Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech
- Argentine President Fernandez: Late prosecutor Nisman had praised her
- Plane tracking may be more frequent as anniversary of missing flight nears
- American politicians hail travel ban by Venezuela’s socialist President Maduro
- Scientists concerned seas will rise, reshaping coastlines
- China slowdown spurs interest rate cuts
- From Jordan base, UAE resumes airstrikes on Islamic State
- Islamic State reportedly burns 45 Iraqis to death