LGBT rights in the Netherlands

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in the Netherlands have been some of the most progressive in the world. Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in 1811 after France invaded the country and installed the Napoleonic Code, erasing any remaining sodomy laws and no more were enacted after the country received independence. An age of consent equal with that of heterosexual activity was put in place in 1971. During the late 20th century, awareness surrounding homosexuality grew and society became more tolerant of homosexuals, eventually leading to its declassification as a mental illness in 1973 and a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in the military. The Equal Treatment Act 1994 bans discrimination on account of sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas. This was extended in 2019 to include discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. After the country began granting same-sex couples domestic partnerships benefits in 1998, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Same-sex joint and stepchild adoption are also permitted, and lesbian couples can access IVF as well.

The Netherlands has become one of the most culturally liberal countries in the world, with recent polls indicating that more than 90% of Dutch people support same-sex marriage. Amsterdam has frequently been named one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world, famous for its many accommodations specifically pertaining to the LGBT community, including its many gay bars, bathhouses, hotels, and venues as well as Pink Point, which provides LGBT-friendly information and souvenirs, and the national Homomonument, which was completed in 1987 and was the first monument in the world to commemorate homosexuals who were persecuted and killed during World War II.


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