It’s gay pride in Brussels! And we have a whole lot to celebrate! But there is also reason for less optimism: the demon of Christian morality is back in Belgium, and to a larger extend in many European countries.
Today, on the 17th of May, the most colourful parade of the year is coming through the streets of Brussels again. The theme for this year is ‘celebrate diversity’. As in Belgium two major demands, gay marriage and gay adoption rights, have been met over the last years –thanks to the socialists, who were at force!- the emphasis is this year on international solidarity. Belgium was one of the first countries in the world that acknowledged IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia). We’re proud to have our gay pride this year on the same day as IDAHO! We’re taking this opportunity to put pressure on the European institutions to add actions to the discourse. Discrimination of LGBT-people still exists in a lot of European countries. It’s time for a powerful European answer to this! (For concrete demands see here in French, soon in English)
But also in Belgium we’re not there yet. What is worse is that since the Christian-Democrats came at force again after nine years of opposition intolerance is back as well. Under the name of morality they say what can and cannot be shown and done. They define what is good and what is bad, as in the good old days. One of the latest sad examples of this tendence was the attack of some Christian-Democrats of the new launched ‘tolero’-campaign of the Flemish socialist minister for Equal Rights Kathleen Van Brempt. The campaign was launched after research results had shown that one out of four youngsters still cannot stand homosexuality. According to some Christian-Democrats the campaign encourages the transmission of HIV and sexual promiscuous behaviour (!). It is unbelievable that such a nonsense actually still is said today in 2008. Time has been turned some decades back. The struggle against homophobia is highly actual and we have to beware for reactionary forces.
That’s why Animo, the Belgian Dutch speeking Young Socialists, decided to do a ludique action this year at the Gay Pride. Dressed up as school boys and girls, straight from the fifties, in perfect uniforms, we’re going to be the safetycrew that distributes our own Animo-condoms. The message may be clear: with the Christian-Democrats at force we’re back in the fifties. We say no to their retarded morality!
Even in countries where everything seems to be accomplished this is far from the case. We have to stand together and fight against homophobia as a united Europe and through international solidarity. Let’s realise our dream together!
Member of ANIMO in Belgium