Ten years ago this month, when the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage,
most Dutch people were in favor of the law, but a vocal minority
insisted that gay marriage would mean the end of Western civilization.
It took a political slugfest to get the law passed.
I was a member of parliament at the time and the initial sponsor of the
same-sex legislation. The Netherlands had introduced gay civil unions in
1998; I regarded them as a step forward but still insufficient. Why
should heterosexuals be able to fence off a part of civil law — marriage
— and defend it as exclusively theirs? This "separate but equal" status
reminded me of apartheid in South Africa
and Jim Crow in the United States. When two people decide to share
their responsibilities and commit themselves to each other by entering
civil marriage, their sexual orientation shouldn't matter to the
Read the complete story(Some news sites require registration)