Dutch amend constitution to specify gay, disabled protections

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AMSTERDAM, (Reuters) – The Dutch Senate approved an amendment to the Netherlands’ constitution to make it explicitly forbidden to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation, or disability.

The change, approved in a 56-15 vote, is the last step in a years-long process toward the amendment. Previously the constitution said it was forbidden to discriminate on the basis of religion, philosophy, political preference, race, gender, “or on any other grounds.”

Dutch LGBTQ+ rights group COC Netherlands welcomed the vote.

Anchoring the anti-discrimination clause “in the constitution is a guarantee that we will still be able to enjoy our hard-won rights in 50 or 100 years (…) Even if the political or social wind unexpectedly turns against the rainbow community”, the group said in a statement.

Ieder(in), an umbrella organisation for people with a disability or chronic illness, called it “an historic day for the disability movement”.

“The government has been given an additional task to permanently improve and strengthen the position of people with a disability not only in law, but also in practice,” it said in a statement.

Photo: EC – Audiovisual ServicePhotographer: Robert Meerding

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