(Blogmensgo, gay blog of October 25, 2018) Former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok died of cardiac arrest on October 22, 2018 at the age of 80 after a long illness. He was the first head of state or government in the world to legalize gay marriage in his country with a law of December 21, 2000, which came into force in the Netherlands on April 1st, 2001. In the following year and for the first time worldwide, he ratified the legalization of euthanasia. And during his second socialist-liberal coalition government, the “registered partnership” came into force on January 1st, 1998.
Here is a very short Euronews report in English about the death of Wim Kok:
Willem Kok, a former trade union leader and supporter of the consensus that he defined as a political imperative, was prime minister of two successive governments from 1994 until his resignation in 2002.
In 1994, before the inauguration of Wim Kok, the registered partnership already had its unofficial appearance in the registry offices of about 100 municipalities. The registered partnership in the Netherlands (as well as the French PACS) was equally available for homo- and heterosexual couples, but was still a cheap substitute for marriage, without any real inheritance advantage or automatic recognition of parenthood.
Job Cohen, justice minister of the second Kok government, then later initiated the parliamentary debate on gay marriage. Dutch-style gay marriage has achieved an almost complete equality of rights and duties between homosexual and heterosexual couples.
Since April 2014, lesbian couples in a registered partnership or marriage whose children are born after artificial insemination, are automatically granted parental status. Until now, the biological mother of the child was always considered a legal mother and the legal father had to be a man (except in the case of anonymous artificial insemination). If the child-parent relationship is not automatically recognized, the same-sex partner can apply for the adoption of the child.
Recent surveys show that at least 90% of atheists, agnostics and non-practicing Christians view gay marriage positively. 40% of the Dutch population does not belong to any major religion. On the other hand, only 60% of practicing Christians have positive opinions on gay marriage.
At the end of this article, here is a short obituary by Wim Kok (in Dutch).
Frank-S / MensGo