Gay children to participate in Amsterdam Pride

PinkNews Staff Writer February 9, 2007
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The mayor of the Dutch city of Amsterdam has changed his mind about letting under 16s take part in the Gay Pride festival.

A 14-year-old boy, Danny Hoekzema, devised the plan to include a boat for LGBT teens in the parade along the city’s famous canals.

Last month mayor Job Cohen blocked the idea, as he thought it was “too risky,” reports Agencie France Presse.

Now he has had a change of heart, as Pride officials have assured him that the children’s boat will be placed far away from the more “adult” participants.

Hoekzema used the internet to drum up support for his boat, and AFP reports that 10 kids between the ages of 11 and 16 want to take part in the Pride parade.

They will be accompanied by their parents.

Amsterdam’s Pride is one of the biggest in the world. This year’s event will take place over the weekend of the 3rd to 5th of August.

Pride features street parties and the highlight of the weekend is the famous Canal Parade on Saturday afternoon. Where most parades use trucks, Amsterdam has 100 spectacular decorated boats.

The gay parade is watched by 350,000 spectators every year.

Mayor Cohen has been supportive of gay rights.

In April 2006 he wrote a letter to eight capital cities in Europe including Warsaw, Prague, Lisbon, Dublin and Vienna, warning against homophobia.

The letter expressed concern at gay pride bans.

He also wrote to leaders in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, and EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini.

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