Oranje's #onelove protest against Hungary's anti-LGBT law a good step, says advocates; More action needed
On Sunday the captain of the Dutch national football team, Geroginio Wijnaldum, will wear a band around his arm with #onelove written on it as a sign of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The band comes as a response to a law that was recently passed in Hungary which made it illegal to inform children under the age of 18 about homosexuality and gender reassignment.
“It is a positive stance of the Dutch national team for the team leader to wear the diversity band. It shows a firm stance that the law is unacceptable”, Philip Tijsma from the gay rights advocacy COC Netherlands said to NL Times. “Every sign of support is appreciated.”
The representative organization of COC in Hungary is not asking for teams to boycott the tournament. Instead, COC asks wants teams to “come to the games but make yourself heard about this issue.”
It is not only up to the football teams and their members to take action, but also to European football association UEFA to firmly denounce the law., Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag said on Friday. Earlier in the week, UEFA forbid the Allianz Arena in Munich to be lit up in rainbow colors. The municipal council of the city of Munich wanted to change the colors of the stadium in support for the LGBTQ+ community.
German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was only allowed to wear a band in rainbow colors after debates with UEFA. In the end, the football association deemed the band a positive sign in favor of diversity and not a political statement.
Companies and organizations need to take a clearer stance against the law, the COC said, referring to companies such as Unilever. The food company publicly denounced the law pointing to their ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s which has been championing LGBTQ+ rights for years. In a later statement, Unilever then backtracked stating that they will comply with the new law in Hungary.
“We hope that not only football teams show support, but that they also call on the European Commission to take sanctions”, Tijsma said. The European Commission is currently investigating whether the new violates European law.
"The legislation must be repealed. In our eyes, it is completely contrary to the values we stand for," said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte after meeting with the 27 leaders of European Union member states.