Celebrating Sexual Diversity

Rainbow CrossingI was going to post about the regenboog zebrapad in Utrecht (rainbow crosswalk) today anyway, and the news that the US Supreme Court has struck down DOMA makes it even more appropriate. Today, same-sex couples in the US now have more of the rights previously limited to heterosexual couples. Of course, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage.

Not surprisingly, many Dutch cities are also host to various festivals and events celebrating sexual diversity and equality. As well as being this year’s Roze Stad (Pink City), Utrecht is also home to the annual two-week-long Midzomergracht Festival, capped off this Saturday by Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday). The festival is a celebration of the gay/lesbian/trandgendered community and all it has to offer. The festival is a mix of sport, art, debate, and fun, with events going on throughout the city.

Earlier this year, the GroenLinks political party stated their intention to create a visible sign of the city’s diversity and acceptance. The annual festival was a perfect time to unveil this visual statement. As part of the festival, last week the city turned the crosswalk by Vredenburg into a rainbow. The crosswalk is meant to be a statement that anyone of any creed, color, or sexual preference is welcome in Utrecht.

To be ready for the festival, a street crew was out in the night, spraying on the bright colors for the updated crosswalk, which is located at a busy intersection. Many people use the crosswalk to get to and from the station, the open market, the shopping center, and more. It’s a great addition to the city.
Rainbow Crossing

Rainbow Crossing

9 thoughts on “Celebrating Sexual Diversity

  1. Hey you found something that actually looks better when wet! πŸ˜‰
    The ‘Pink Saturday’ is a travelling circus. Originally the Dutch held only one annual Gay Pride festival but in a different city every year. It has taken place in Utrecht before, in 1986, and again sometime around the turn of the century. Nowadays, as you wrote, many cities have a festival of their own, as well. I am happy to hear about DOMA, especially today; on my 20 year anniversary with my husband (we will be married 12.5 years later this year, which the Dutch celebrate as a milestone: half way to 25 years!)
    Dutch society didn’t collapse when gays got full fledged marriage rights in 2001. Nobody’s marriage was suddenly worth less, I expect that to be the case in other countries too.

    • Ah, thus Utrecht being the Roze Stad this year. Thanks for the extra info.

      More importantly, happy anniversary! This ruling should have a big impact on some of my friends who are in multinational relationships and unable to live together in the US because of the government not recognizing same-sex marriages in terms of immigration. Hopefully the whole country will soon see the light. As you point out, it’s not as if any country that has given full rights has crumbled, as a result, nor has it had an impact on anyone else’s marriage.

  2. A great way to celebrate diversity! I always find it a bit baffling to read that so many Western countries have yet to recognise same-sex marriage, as it has been completely normal over here for so long now. Seems like the US is taking steps in the right direction though, finally!

    • Slow, slow steps and there’s still a long way to go, but it is a move in the right direction! It really is strange that it’s such a battle in so many countries. Especially in countries such as the US that technically are secular countries. There’s no secular reason why same-sex marriage shouldn’t occur.

      • Yes the US technically is a secular country. But it has so much more conservative Christians in positions of power, not to mention within it’s body of voters. I guess that’s why it’s taking so long to legalise same-sex marriages. I jsut wish they would take a long hard look at the countries where this has already happened. No social anarchy, no widespread moral outrage, no de-valution of heterosexual marriages, nothing.

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