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De Algemene wet gelijke behandeling als mijlpaal in de geschiedenis van de Nederlandse homo-emancipatie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden equal treatment legislation, gay and lesbian history, homosexual teachers, religious schools, sexual orientation discrimination
Auteurs Drs. Joke Swiebel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The General Equal Treatment Law – adopted in 1994 – is a landmark in the history of homosexual emancipation in the Netherlands. It took two decades before the first proposals for a legal ban of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation would be transformed into law. Background of this controversy is the clash between the equalityprinciple and the freedom of education. The compromise reached – the so-called single fact-construction – however sent a double message: being gay was not a justified reason for unequal treatment, but some forms of behaviour were incorporated as a legal exception. It took another twenty years before this flaw in the law would be changed.
    This article analyses the political debates behind these legal developments. What was the problem that the various drafts for this new legislation were supposed to solve? Which definitions of discrimination on the basis of homosexuality were used and how did they change over time? The adoption of the law and its ‘reparation’ twenty years later are mainly a question of symbolic politics. They reflect the development of the growing acceptance of homosexuality in Dutch society and have stimulated its further growth. Their actual legal effects seem far less important.


Drs. Joke Swiebel
Drs. Joke Swiebel studeerde politicologie. Zij werkte negen jaar aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en 22 jaar als beleidsambtenaar voor de Rijksoverheid. Daarna (1999-2004) was zij lid van het Europees Parlement voor de PvdA. Een uitgebreidere versie van dit artikel is te vinden op https://jokeswiebel.nl/

    Despite the praise for Richard Florida’s new book The new urban crisis, it remarkably can be seen as an ‘urban confession’ or even as a ‘public penance’ for everything he wrote before in his glorious publication The rise of the creative class. That book offered the opportunity to look at the city in a different way and to formulate approaches for new urban politics. As a child, Florida and his family fled the city with its crime and other problems and moved to a suburb. As a young intellectual, Florida returned to the city, where he became interested in the role of the creative class in the process of re-urbanization. During his academic research, he discovered the ‘magic formula’ that cities could flourish by stimulating this creative class. However, his belief in this magic formula has eroded and now, about fifteen years after his publication, he admits he was mistaken. What seemed a solution appeared to be the cause of ‘the new urban crisis’. In his new book, the ‘urban optimist’ is replaced by the ‘urban pessimist’. New policies are needed that replace the concept of ‘the-winner-takes-all’ by ‘urbanism-for-all’ to stop the so-called ‘patchwork metropolis’ of segregated neighborhoods.


Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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