I Amsterdam sign in rainbow colors to celebrate the 15th anniversary of marriage equality in the Netherlands, 1 Apr 2016 (Photo: @iamsterdam/Twitter) - Credit: I Amsterdam sign in rainbow colors to celebrate the 15th anniversary of marriage equality in the Netherlands, 1 Apr 2016 (Photo: @iamsterdam/Twitter)
Friday, April 1, 2016 - 11:53
Amsterdam celebrates legal same-sex marriage 15th anniversary
Today is the 15th anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriages in the world, performed in Amsterdam. On April 1st, 2015 former Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen married three gay couples and a lesbian couple, in a courtroom decorated with roses, while press from around the world watched. Amsterdam decided to celebrate the occasion by painting the I Amsterdam sign in front of the Stopera, Amsterdam's city hall, in rainbow colors. The unveiling was attended by, among others, COC director Coen van Dijk and former parliamentarian Coos Huijsen, the first openly gay parliamentarian in the world. “The I Amsterdam logo in rainbow colors symbolizes the importance that this college attaches to strengthening the positions of LGBTI’s.”, Diversity alderman Simone Kukenheim said about the occasion. “I want that you can be who you are in Amsterdam. Amsterdam was and is a pioneer in equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgenders and inter-sexuals.” Figures from Statistics Netherlands show that about 20 thousand same-sex couples got married in the Netherlands since April 1st, 2001. In the beginning more male couples got married, but from 2003 female couples started overtaking them. Last year 765 lesbian couples and 644 gay couples got married in the country. According to 925, the average wedding costs 12 thousand euros. This means that in the past 15 years same-sex weddings made 240 million euros for the economy, mostly into the hospitality industry.