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 In , the blanket ban was repealed and replaced with a one-year deferral period.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. The first TV personality to publicly come out as gay was singer Will Ferdy nl in , when the topic was still taboo. This received widespread media coverage. Belgian gay rights activism is made most visible by means of pride parade demonstrations.
Marches have been held annually in Belgium's capital Brussels since , 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 has been updated a number of times 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.
In the march, some participants were seen with a banner "Thank you Verhofstadt! The name was adopted for the first ever Belgian demonstration march for gay rights in , taken from the same-named series of Dutch marches which were first held in After this first short series of annual events, it was only in that the decision was made to again organise the marches regularly, starting anew on 5 May in Antwerp and then bi-annually in Ghent and again in Antwerp.
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The latter choice of city was motivated by what is known as "Black Sunday", when the right-wing party Vlaams Blok now Vlaams Belang scored a major electoral victory in Antwerp. Then in , "Pink Saturday" was moved indefinitely to Brussels, and became an annual event. The next year, the list of demands was for the first time prominently displayed on 10 large banners carried by participants throughout the march.
In , Antwerp was the host city of the third World Outgames. The Belgian Pride parade was attended by an estimated , people. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. LGBT rights in Belgium. Main article: Same-sex marriage in Belgium. See also: LGBT parenting.
See also: Sexual orientation and military service. See also: LGBT social movements.
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LGBT portal Belgium portal. Business Insider. BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 December Federal Public Service Justice.
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De Standaard. La Libre. ZiZo Online. Archived from the original on 31 July Retrieved 21 February Le Soir. Koen Geens. BeOut in Dutch. Archived from the original PDF on 20 April Retrieved 24 September Retrieved 28 December Arc-en-ciel Wallonnie. Archived from the original on 30 December La Libre Belgique. Archived from the original on 4 March Rode Kruis Vlaanderen in Dutch. Retrieved 28 May Archived from the original on 7 January Whether you're a hippie, stock broker, police officer or biker, you dress the way the world expects you to dress, you act the way the world expects you to act.
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