He felt he could not abandon those obligations. He asked whether he should marry even though he could not function sexually with a woman. The Frustration of Sexual Infidelity Sexual infidelity is not the ultimate betrayal; the lies used to cover the offense are far more damaging. The injured spouse feels a mixture of emotions: anger, hurt, righteous indignation, and a wish for revenge. Lying erodes the trust that must form the basis of a successful relationship. Spouses often become suspicious of infidelity because something is disrupting the normal day-to-day functioning of their relationship.
The offender may be angry, critical, or dissatisfied. He may act guilty, anxious, or disengaged. Attention, including sexual, may decrease or, in fact, increase. Being faithful when in a relationship is difficult for many couples, straight or gay. Because homosexual attractions will never go away, the number for MSM may be even higher.
When the spouse discovers a reoccurring betrayal, it sends her a message that the offender neither regretted the offense nor seriously intended to change. His wife began to suspect he was interested in men and searched for clues of his deception. When confronted, Kevin made the perfect apology to his wife. He expressed his guilt and admitted that what he had done was wrong.
He gave no excuse or defense for having wronged her, telling his wife she had every right to feel hurt. The betrayer may believe his confession has erased his guilt. He may argue his intentions were good and that he lied to his spouse to protect her. He may believe his behavior was unintended or due to extenuating circumstances; therefore, it must be excusable. Revelation could lead to public disrespect and her loss of social status. Such disgrace may provoke feelings of hatred and a wish to hide or escape. In some cases, the straight spouse clings to her relationship with the MSM in a very dysfunctional way, a reflection of her own lack of investment in the relationship.
Couples in Therapy Infidelity occurs in the context of both hetero- and homosexual relationships.
In either case, the crucial issues in working through the crisis are as follows:. What will be the consequences if it happens again? The offender must truly regret and be sorry for the pain he has caused his wife. He must assure her that the offense was an aberration and not due to a deficiency in the relationship.
He must accept responsibility for what has happened. But his efforts to suppress his homosexual attraction may cause him to experience sadness, depression, thoughts of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors. All relationships have rules; rules are broken.
For the straight spouse, healing the assault on her self-esteem will mean reassigning causation for the offense; she must stop blaming herself or her spouse. The offender also needs to be able to see himself through her eyes. After granting same-sex couples domestic partnership benefits in , Belgium became the second country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in Same-sex adoption was fully legalised in under the same terms and conditions as heterosexual adoption, and lesbian couples can access IVF as well.
Protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public and private accommodations were enacted in and on gender identity and expression in Transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since , though under certain circumstances which were repealed in Belgium has frequently been referred to as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world,  with recent polls indicating that a majority of Belgians support same-sex marriage and adoption rights.
With the appointment of Petra De Sutter Groen as Minister of Civil Service in , Belgium is one of the first countries in the world to have an openly transgender woman as a government minister. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since when the country was a French possession. This was briefly increased to 18 for same-sex sexual activity between and by the addition and later repeal of article bis to the Penal Code.
It was inserted by an amendment of MP Freddy Terwagne d to the law of 8 April on youth protection. The Senate eventually concurred in June ; article bis was thus repealed by the law of 18 June Belgium became the second country to allow same-sex marriages in after the Netherlands. Same-sex couples have had the same rights as opposite-sex couples in adopting children since A legal inequality compared to heterosexual couples still existed with regards to children: the husband of the biological mother was automatically legally recognised as the father by article of the Civil Code , but this was not the case in a same-sex couple for the wife of the mother.
To be recognised as the co-mother, she had to complete an adoption procedure. This accounted for the large majority of adoption cases in Belgium. The Di Rupo Government promised to fix this, and in , as the Netherlands recently passed similar legislation, LGBT organisations pressured the government about their promise.
Subsequently, legislators worked to agree on a solution. The bill received royal assent on 5 May and went into effect on 1 January Generally, adoption law is regulated at the federal level, whereas the adoption procedure is managed by the community governments.
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Between and , 56 male same-sex couples and two female same-sex couples had domestically adopted a child in the Flemish Community Flanders. In the same period, 12 children were domestically adopted in the French Community , giving a total of 70 LGBT domestic adoptions in Belgium in that period. The anti-discrimination law of 25 February included discrimination protections on the basis of sex and sexual orientation.
On 29 November , the Federal Government approved an expansion of the anti-discrimination law to include gender identity and gender expression. It was approved by the Federal Parliament and received royal assent on 22 May It was the first case in Belgium in which a crime was officially qualified as being motivated by hate on the basis of sexual orientation. This included 17 physical attacks, 42 public homophobic insults, 17 housing discrimination cases, and 31 online attacks.
Between and , there was a yearly average of 31 men and 14 women who officially changed their legal gender, with an increase after the law came into in effect. Plans to amend the law to remove these requirements were announced by the Michel Government in ,    passed by the Chamber of Representatives and signed by King Philippe in ,   and took effect on 1 January Currently, it is only possible to change gender on the identity card from male to female or vice versa, but according to the court, persons who are non-binary are excluded from this rule.
The court held that an " X " sex option should be available. The Constitutional Court has asked the Belgian Federal Parliament to work on an arrangement that complies with the ruling, whether through the "creation of one or more additional categories" or the removal of gender from compulsory registration.
Their coalition agreement states that "legislation will be amended in accordance with the ruling of the Constitutional Court. The further implications of that will be investigated.
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In order to change legal sex, an adult person has to file an application with a statement that their legal sex is not corresponding with their gender identity. No surgery or other medical or psychological treatment or opinion is required. After filing an application, the applying person will be informed about the legal consequences of a requested change. The applicant has to renew their intent to have their legal sex changed within three months of application and to declare that they are aware of the legal consequences of a change.
Minors between 12 and 16 have the possibility to change their first name, but not sex. Minors aged 16 and 17 have the possibility to apply for a sex change with parental consent and a psychological opinion confirming that their decision has been taken freely and without any outside pressure. According to the National Register, transgender Belgians changed their legal gender under the new law in Many Belgian hospitals, the Ghent University Hospital UZ Gent among them, are known for their specialisation in sex reassignment surgery.
Many French transgender people go there due to a lack of accepting hospitals in France.
Intersex infants in Belgium may undergo medical interventions to have their sex characteristics altered. Human rights groups increasingly consider these surgeries unnecessary and, they argue, should only be performed if the applicant consents to the operation. In February , the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended Belgium to ban these surgeries and provide intersex infants and their parents counseling and support.
The first intersex organization in Flanders, Intersekse Vlaanderen , was officially registered in August In Belgium, as in many other countries, men who have sex with men MSM were previously not allowed to donate blood. In , the blanket ban was repealed and replaced with a one-year deferral period. In November , she announced the ban would be amended in , making it possible for gay and bisexual men to donate blood after a year of abstinence from sex. In June , the Flemish Red Cross announced it was banning transgender people from donating blood in Flanders.
Following consultations with health and LGBT groups, it reversed course and lifted the ban on 30 September Transgender people can donate subject to a three-month deferral period after starting hormonal therapy and a month deferral after the last sexual encounter. LGBT people are generally well socially accepted in Belgium.
There is a strong gay community, with numerous gay clubs, bars, venues and events. LGBT rights are supported by the main political parties. In , party leader Tom Van Grieken said the party would not campaign to repeal same-sex marriage. Member of the Flemish Parliament Filip Dewinter told the newspaper De Standaard in that the party would now approve of same-sex marriage.
On 2 April , the Flemish Parliament approved 96—0 with 15 abstentions a resolution introduced by MP Piet De Bruyn N-VA and supported by all political parties except Flemish Interest , calling for the government to take measures to support and advance the acceptance of transgender people in society. Following the European Parliament elections, the New Flemish Alliance N-VA was criticized for joining the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group, which contains several right-wing homophobic parties.
However, N-VA asserted they would vote in favour of LGBT rights, and argued that this was an opportunity to change opinions of other parties in that group. In , Dominiek Spinnewyn-Sneppe, newly-elected federal member of Parliament and member of Flemish Interest, was quoted in an interview as criticizing same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
After public outcry, party chairman Tom Van Grieken condemned her words, claiming they did not reflect his own opinion or that of the party. While he defended her right to free speech, he claimed that Flemish Interest will not seek to reverse any acquired rights of the LGBT community. Homosexuality is widely accepted in the media.