The municipality of Tholen in the Zeeland province will dedicate itself to the advancement of social acceptance and safety of LGBTs, and in particular of LGBT youth. It is a remarkable step, as in recent years the municipality has been in the news because of its LGBT unfriendly policies.
The starting point of the policy is the LGBT project plan of the Anti-Discriminatiebureau Zeeland. Leading municipalities Goes, Middelburg and Vlissingen are also participating in this. The alarmingly high marks with regard to mental health and suicidal thoughts of Zeeland's LGBT youth compared to its heterosexual youth were the grounds.
It was decided to train more social consultants under the WMO (Wet Maatschappelijke Ondersteuning)in order to detect and signal the problems that arise in LGBT youth. Research results relating to the acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity are brought to the attention of school counsellors, and employers will be made aware of their role in combating discrimination in the workplace.
In addition to this, the municipality will also be actively bringing the work of the Anti-Discrimination Bureau to the attention of sports and cultural associations.
The town hall will be showing a glass plaque with the text of Article 1 of the Constitution, and the municipality wants to give special attention to this every year. When exactly this will take place is not known yet, but a spokesman of the municipality suggests that the International Day for Combating Racism and Discrimination on March 21st is a suitable day for this.
In recent years, Tholen was in the news because of its decision not to hoist the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day. The argument for not doing so was that the municipality focusses on policy when it comes to LGBT emancipation and will not endorse symbolic politics. Just before the ban on hiring civil servants with religious objects took effect, three more civil servants with objections were hired in 2014.