COC & Your interests

Most lhbti+ persons can live freely and safely in the Netherlands. Still, there is much room for improvement. Thanks to the efforts of the COC, discrimination in laws and regulations has decreased significantly in recent years, but there is still much that is not well regulated. The acceptance of lhbti+ persons still leaves much to be desired. In order to change this, the COC represents the interests of lhbti+ persons. Politics is an important ally in this. Together with activists and allies we tackle the problems, and work towards a country where everyone can live freely and safely.

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Nanoah Shrub against a purple background. Nanoah stands up for lhbti+ interests with COC.

Here's how COC is making a difference

We continuously bring issues of lhbti+ emancipation to the attention of the government, the House of Representatives and the media. In doing so, we always propose concrete solutions. We support activists who want to put lhbti+ interests on the political agenda with our National Political Working Group (LWP). During elections we inform on our website Rainbowvote.NU about the positions of political parties in the field of 'rainbow politics', so that people can also exert influence themselves.

Here's why attention is so important

Seven in ten lhbti+ persons experience physical or verbal violence in their lives simply because of who they are. About 1 in 3 Dutch people find it offensive if two men kiss each other in public, while almost no one has a problem with a heterosexual couple kissing. There is still a lack of social acceptance-at school, work, in healthcare and other places. In addition, people often experience more problems when they are discriminated against for a combination of grounds, such as being trans and black, lesbian and asylum seeker or gay and Muslim. Also when it comes to laws, the Netherlands no longer belongs to the world's top group of countries where our rights are well regulated.

Time for change, then.

COC successfully campaigned for anchoring LGBT+ rights in the Constitution. We see people in a boat carrying various flags in the colors of the rainbow with texts about the constitution - photo Tom Garlic
List leaders sign 2021 Ballot Agreement with COC, promising to improve legislation and policies - photo: Geert van Tol
COC has already accomplished this

Discrimination against lesbian and gay people has been prohibited by law since 1994, discrimination against trans, intersex and non-binary people since 2019. And thanks to nearly 20 years of efforts, lhbti+ rights have finally been enshrined in Article 1 of our Constitution since 2023. Thus, over the years we got numerous legislative changes done. Fortunately, since the 1960s we as a society look at lhbti+ persons in a much more positive light: from almost 40% who were dismissive of the rainbow community then to about 7% today. We achieve progress by, for example, concluding Rainbow Agreements with politicians and constantly pushing for better laws. .

But we're not there yet!

'Anyone who wants it should be able to get an X in their passport'


Nanoah Struik stands up for your interests with COC.

What can I do?

Exercising political influence

Exercise your own political influence? In elections, check our voter guide Rainbowvote.NU

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Photo credits © Header & quote: Ernst Coppejans, Pride Amsterdam & Stembusakkoord: Tom Garlic