From where the two rights advocates sit, having tea in an old-fashioned high-ceilinged restaurant in Amsterdam’s central train station, the political drama surrounding gay marriage in countries like France, Britain and the United States seems far away.
Eunice den Hoedt, 38, an official with the Ministry of Education, is a lesbian, and Rene van Soeren, 54, a consultant, is gay. Neither has married, although as Dutch citizens, they’ve had that right for more than 11 years.
As board members of COC Netherlands, the world’s oldest gay rights organization, they still relish the political victory won in 2001 when marriage became an option for everyone here, gay as well as straight. The Netherlands was the first country to adopt such a law; since then, 10 others have followed.
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