Friday, April 10, 2009

Amsterdam to pay NY gays to get hitched 9 April 2009

The city of Amsterdam is set to invite five New York-based gay couples ­– one of whom must be a US citizen and the other Dutch – to come to Amsterdam to get married in August of this year.

Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen will perform the ceremony.

The city has set aside €37,000 to finance the Pink Exchange Project, which is part of Henry Hudson Year, celebrating the 400-year-old bond between the Dutch and Americans that started with Henry Hudson’s arrival in Manhattan in 1609.

COMMENT: Earlier this week, Diederik van Hoogstraten, writing in Volkskrant (Dutch), quotes Evan Wolfson of the national advocacy group, Freedom to Marry, that Vermont's vote to override the governor's veto of the same-sex marriage bill will act as "a reminder to other legislatures that they must finish their work" for civil equality. Mayor Cohen's offer sends a powerful message from the Netherlands (as the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001) to the NY Legislature to follow the Netherland's lead.

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