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Dutch park unveils signs to ‘warn visitors’ about gay cruising spots

Henrietta Ronson April 29, 2009
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A park in the southwest of Amsterdam has put up signs indicating areas where gay men are allegedly known to have sex so no one will be caught unaware.

Manon Koffiijberg, a municipal spokeswoman, told Agence France-Presse: “There are various groups of users of the park; people with small children who bathe on the beaches, those who walk their dogs, gays cruising and nature lovers.

“Things are arranged so that each group can relax in their own area without intruding on each other.”

“The signs clearly indicate what is happening in each zone; also those where gay men are known to practice ‘cruising’.”

“If you don’t want to be confronted by a vision of that sort, the signs allow you to avoid specific areas,” said Ms Koffijberg.

The De Oeverlanden park in Slotervaart, is known as a popular spot for gay men from all over the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe to find sex partners.

Ms Koffijberg maintains that though public sex is indeed illegal, the park had turned a blind eye for so long that it has become “gedoog”.

Gedoog is a Dutch word for tolerating unwanted behaviour.

Cruisers tend to keep their sexual activities to the confines of the bushes in the park and the new signs have been erected to ensure that unwitting visitors do not accidently stray into the areas.

Recently there have been reports of gay bashing in the Slotervaart area, which is populated by a large group of Muslim immigrants. Reports of robberies and violence against gay men in De Oeverlanden park are rife.

Related topics: Europe

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