Saturday, 16 May 2015
Following the N-VA’s announcement to participate in the gay pride parade, the Rainbow House challenges them to carry out self reflection and to align themselves closer to the charter of the gay pride that they recently signed. The Rainbow house goes on to critizise the party leader Bart De Wever’s comments about the Moroccan Berber community during his televised speech in VRT, whereby he compared the Moroccan Berber community to Asian communities that he deemed to be “positive immigration”.
The head of the LGBT representation (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) in Brussels region reveals that no party members have clarified or publicly distanced themselves from these comments, which also includes the State secretary of equal chances, Elke Sleurs. This silence and absence of any kind of reaction reconfirms, according to Rainbowhouse Brussels, N-VA’s standpoint and the existence of a “ladder of tolerance between the various communities in Belgium” within the party: “the Moroccan Berbers at the bottom of the ladder, the Asian community further up, and a little bit higher the LGBT persons”. Also Rainbow house is firmly opposed to the message that insinuates to minority groups to not over expose themselves, and make themselves responsible for the discrimination against them by people with opposing views.
François Massoz-Fouillien, Rainbow House spokesperson in Brussels, underscores that these suggestions are in contradiction with the charter of the pride. “The charter has a strong symbolic value. By signing the charter, institutions, parties or others engage themselves to respect all the minority groups that make up the Belgian society. We find an incoherence between Bart De Wever’s comments and the absence of any condemnation towards them from the party together with their participation in an event that offers high visibility towards the LGBT community. We invite N-VA to carry out some internal reflection on their values so that they can be aligned with the charter that they just signed”, he says. Alan De Bruyne, Belgium pride’s coordinator, emphasizes however that N-VA’s bus will not be excluded from the parade on Saturday.