Amsterdam Stands Up for Homosexual Rights in 2013 Gay Pride
On Saturday, more than 500,000 people attended the 2013 Gay Pride Festival in Amsterdam to celebrate homosexual rights.
The event focused on various bright boats sailing through the ancient canals in the heart of Amsterdam, each with its unique theme. Participants waved rainbow flags and danced with the music.
The Amnesty International boat caught the attention of many as it featured a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the recent anti-homosexual propaganda laws in Russia. In July, four Dutch were arrested in Murmansk, Russia for suspicion of gay propaganda. The detained group of Dutch documentarists, lead by Sharelly Emanuelson, were able to return to the Netherlands safely.
Amnesty International boat with Vladimir Putin’s portrait at the 2013 Gay Pride Festival in Amsterdam
Photo by Mirjam Meijer
Another striking flotilla belonged to the Dutch football association. Former soccer players Patrick Kluivert and Ronald de Boer represented the sports organization and showed their support for gay athletes. National coach Louis van Gaal also took part in the festivity.
"We want to send a signal to accept homosexuality in the (soccer) world," Van Gaal said.
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and other members of his political group wore noticeable shirts inscribed with "Gay Rights for Russia."
The Netherlands is widely known for its open-mindedness on homosexuality and gay rights. It is the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.