A paradise for LGBT rights? The paradox of Belgium.

Published: September 1, 2011


How is it that a small country such as Belgium, with its reputation of relative conservatism, has jumped to the forefront of LGBT-friendly nations when it comes to the extension of rights to, and implementation of government policies for, its LGBT population? The analysis offered here focuses on a combination of six causes: the impact of wider secularization processes; the political history and culture of the country; the organization of especially the Flemish LGBT movement and reasons for its political effectiveness; mainstream social trends in national scapegoating hierarchies; the overall media environment; and the window of opportunity opened by the political landslide of 1999.

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