D66 kicks out city councillor for voting down to LGBT rainbow flag proposals
Veenendaal city council member Hassan Saidi has been expelled from the local D66 faction after voting against two proposals concerning the LGBTQ community, AD reported. Saidi first shot down a GroenLinks proposal to raise the rainbow flag above town hall at the end of June.
This week, he also voted down plans to paint a zebra crossing in a rainbow color pattern.
“Differences of opinion can arise in politics and that is not a bad thing. But it should not become structural. After a second time, it became difficult and that is why we decided to say goodbye to him as a member of the group,” said party chair, Coby van den Heuvel.
Saidi did not want to provide substantial comments regarding the expulsion and pointed to the party's earlier press release, and his previous explanation of his voting in the council.
“First of all, discrimination requires our full attention and not just discrimination against a certain group of citizens. What do we do with all those other groups in society who also feel disadvantaged? As far as I'm concerned, hoisting the flag is symbolic politics," he said.
Van den Heuvel stated she was sad to see Saidi leave the party, but stressed that the party's core political values have prevailed. ”As D66 Veenendaal, we will continue to stand for freedom and equality. Morally supporting the LGBTI people with symbols such as a rainbow flag is certainly part of that,” she said.
It is not yet clear whether Saidi will remain in the council independently or if he will allow his seat to be filled by D66. He has been a member of the council since 2014.