Pride Amsterdam board resigns over controversial refugee comments
The board of the Pride Amsterdam foundation, including chairman Frits Huffnagel, resigned on Monday due to statements Huffnagel made about refugees and war criminals. After initially just distancing itself from Huffnagel's comments, the board decided to rather step down to prevent the commotion affecting the Pride event, NOS reports.
On NPO Radio 1 program Spraakmakers, Huffnagel wondered why the Netherlands allowed asylum seekers into the country who are unlikely to be granted refugee status. He also said: "We see a child and think 'oh how pathetic', while we do not see a father behind it who may have committed war crimes and a mother who may have facilitated it."
LGBTQ activists were outraged by these statements, saying that they do not suit the chairman of Pride Amsterdam. Huffnagel later apologized, but the pressure for him to quit only increased. Almost 100 interest groups called on him to leave in an open letter, saying "it is unacceptable that Pride Amsterdam is led by a chairman who has a xenophobic view on refugees."
On Monday evening, the Pride Amsterdam board announced the resignation of Huffnagel and the board, according to NOS. "The importance of an inclusive, festive and meaningful Pride is paramount, according to the board, and the ongoing debate threatens to stand in the way of this," the board said. Pride Amsterdam announced that all preparations for this year's edition will continue as planned.