Belgium, Europe

Belgium is considered to be a very liberal country with LGBT rights and became the 2nd country in the world to legalize gay marriage, in 2003. There is no law against homosexuals and homosexuality has been decriminalised since 1843. At that time the age of consent for homosexual acts was 18 (16 for heterosexual acts). The age of consent was equalized to 16, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender in 1985. Homosexuals are not banned from military service. Belgian gay rights activism is made most visible by means of the Belgian Lesbian and Gay Pride demonstration marches. The marches are held annually in Belgium's capital Brussels since 1996, with similar events having been held intermittently in preceding years in both Brussels and other cities. While the marches have a festive character, they are also used to present the gay movement's political agenda in the form of a list of demands. The list was updated a number of times (in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005) and has included demands for anti-discrimination laws, inclusion of gay relationships in high-school sex education and the right to adoption by same-sex parents. LGBT Travelers should check out our new Belgium Gay Lodging Directory.

 

 

Can you guess which country has the highest proportion of gay weddings?

One country has more same-sex weddings than you’d think… That’s right: according to the stats, Belgium has a higher proportion of gay weddings compared to all marriages than anywhere else. A study from statistics website 10 and 3 looked at the ongoing prevalence of weddings across a period of time in early adopters – Belgium,… Read more »

Belgium: No waffling on gay marriage

Stepping from the town hall into bright sunlight, Olivier Pierret raised his hand in triumph. It was his wedding day, and celebrations lay ahead. First was a vin d’honneur drinks reception among the airy rooms of an art gallery, then an elaborate dinner and finally, a surprise speech from his father, a taciturn 74-year-old who… Read more »

In Historic First, Belgian Bishop Calls Church to Bless Lesbian & Gay Couples

For the first time in known history, a Roman Catholic bishop has explicitly called for the Church to recognize and bless committed same-gender relationships. New Ways Ministry strongly applauds this bold and courageous move. Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, Belgium, made his comments in an interview with De Morgen, a Belgian newspaper that was published… Read more »

Belgium’s Gay Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo Steps Down

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, the world’s first openly gay male head of state, on Monday stepped down following Sunday’s general election in which the New Flemish Alliance Party (N-VA) was the chief winner. Di Rupo, 62, handed in his government’s resignation to King Philip. “The king accepted the resignation and asked the government… Read more »

Gearing up for Belgian Gay Pride

GSN checks in on preparations for the 2013 LGBT pride celebrations in Brussels The politics of Belgium are fascinating and ever-changing, but one constant appears to be a commitment to supporting the country’s LGBT community. On Saturday (18 May), Brussels will be taken over by its annual LGBT Pride celebrations. I was in Brussels on… Read more »

Belgian PM says country is going backwards on gay tolerance

The Prime Minister of Belgium has stated that anti-gay hate is on the rise setting the country on a backwards path from tolerance Tolerance in Belgium towards LGBT people has been eroding in the last three to four years, suggested Elio Di Rupo, the country’s Prime Minister. Speaking in Antwerp, Belgium (4 December) during a… Read more »

Belgium’s new gay Socialist premier: from rags to riches

Brussels (AFP)– Elio Di Rupo, who becomes Europe’s second openly gay government leader when sworn in on Tuesday as Belgium’s new premier, is a 60-year-old career politician with a storybook background. Born to an Italian coalminer father and illiterate mother in a 1951 migrant shanty-town, Di Rupo will be the first French-speaking leader of language-divided… Read more »

Gay Belgium News & Reports 2011

1 Video: Anti-gay Catholic archbishop slapped in face with custard pies 4/11 7 April 2011 – PinkNews 1 Video: Anti-gay Catholic archbishop slapped in face with custard pies by Jessica Geen A Belgian Catholic archbishop who said HIV is “justice” for gays has been hit in the face with custard pies. Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, the… Read more »

Moroccan faith healer arrested

Moroccan Muslim faith healer who was called by parents to ‘treat’ their 18 year-old lesbian daughter, is arrested over her burning death[edit] Belgian judicial authorities have arrested a Moroccan faith healer following the death of 18-year-old Layla Hachichi. The woman died as a result of burns. Her lifeless remains were recovered from her parents’ home… Read more »

Gay Belgium News & Reports 2003-10

1 Belgian senate approves gay marriages 11/03 2 Belgian parliament legalizes gay marriage 1/03 3 Belgian gays: children first, then marriage 1/03 4 Belgium’s First Gay Wedding Held Today 6/03 5 Belgium sees 139 same sex weddings over 6 months 11/03 6 Rights group sues cardinal over gay ‘pervert’ comments 1/04 7 Socialists reopen gay… Read more »