The Netherlands is one of Europe's most gay-friendly nations

Alongside Belgium and the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands is the most gay-friendly country in Europe, a European Union investigation has revealed.

Largest research project of its kind

Around 93.000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people were interviewed online as to the extent of violence and discrimination towards them in their own country. Held across all 27 EU member states (and Croatia), this is the largest survey of its kind to date.

The results of the survey were presented on the International Day Against Homophobia (Idaho) as part of a three day European conference in The Hague on homophobia.

The Netherlands is generally tolerant

As the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage, the Netherlands is shown to have a generally tolerant attitude to LGBT people in the survey. Thirty percent of Dutch respondents to the survey reported facing discrimination as a result of their LGBT status, a notably low number by comparison with other EU states.

The Netherlands was also the country with the highest percentage (93 percent) of people who believe that homosexuals should be allowed to live as they wish. Further to this, the number of Dutch people who reject homosexuality has fallen from 15 percent in 2006 to just 4 percent in 2012.

Overall picture not so rosy

Overall, however, the survey has revealed that discrimination against LGBT people is widespread throughout Europe, with almost half of all respondents reporting some form of discrimination as a result of the sexual orientation in the previous year.

The high level of hostility in schools reported by LGBT people of 18 years or under was also notable. More than 90 percent of respondents had experienced or seen discrimination based on sexuality and between 83 and 97 percent of pupils reported feeling unsafe in school. In this regard, the Netherlands also performed badly. 

If you have been affected by discrimination as a result of your sexuality, there a number of ways in which you can fight it. Click here to find out more.

Mark McDaid


Mark McDaid

Mark hails from the Emerald Isle but has been living in the land of cheese and deep-fried-indiscriminate-meat since February 2009. He can often be found trying to read through a...

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