Far-right’s anti-LGBT rant causes tearful Arnhem city council breakdown
The Arnhem city council debate completely derailed on Wednesday evening due to an anti-LGBTQIA+ rant by far-right FvD councilor Gino Luurssen. The D66, GroenLinks, and PvdD factions left the debate, with many of the councilors in tears, Omroep Gelderland reports.
The debate was on paying for changing your gender in your ID. The far-right councilor is against it. “Enough is enough,” Luurssen began his rant. “Gender as intended in the eyes of the LGBTQ+ community does not exist, and your identity is not something you determine yourself. That is completely incorrect, and it is harmful. For adults, but certainly also for young, impressionable, insecure, and hormone-affected children.”
Schools should “pursue active policy by introducing the gender cake,” he said. “And sending children home with the question: Dad, Mum did you choose that I’m a girl or a boy.” According to Luurssen, the Netherlands is creating a climate of “normalizing what is not normal.”
At this point, D66 councilor Mattijs Loor had to step in. “We know that Forum voor Democratie does not share the view that everyone in this city can and should be themselves,” Loor said. He accused Luurssen of ignoring science and spreading conspiracy theories.
Luurssen continued: “So the most important thing is not whether you have a penis or vagina, but how you identify yourself. The feeling. Apparently, gender is not important, but at the same time, it is so important that we remove children’s boobs and balls.”
Here, Klaartje Koorn (CDA) had enough. She asked mayor Ahmed Marcouch to intervene as chairman of the council. “Even I feel personally affected by what’s happening here. And it’s not even about me,” she said, visibly shaken.
Loor (D66) also had enough. “D66 will leave the hall, and I call on all council members who also find this abhorrent to do the same.” GroenLinks and PvdD followed the D66 out.
Marcouch let Luurssen finish his rant, saying that he believes public debates must happen in transparency. “That a councilor can show his ideas. Whatever anyone else thinks about it. We have to fight ideas with ideas. That’s how democracy works,” Marcouch said.
After Luurssen had his say, the mayor suspended the meeting so that the councilors could gather themselves.
Loor told Omroep Gelderland that he could not hold out any longer. “Things were being said that were so blatantly hurtful that you could no longer do your job. Council members were in tears. A line was crossed here.”
“Real poison” is how PvdA councilor Yzid Ait Chrif described the FvD councilor’s rant. “Intended to destabilize society and dehumanize the people who are here. We will fight that always and everywhere and never give up.”