The small country of Belgium has become one of the world’s frontrunners in the extension of legal rights to gay and lesbian people. Belgium was, for example, the second country in the world (after the Netherlands) to legalize marriage for same-sex couples. The Belgian gay and lesbian movement played an important role in the emancipation and acceptance of—and the extension of rights to—the gay and lesbian population. This contribution outlines the history of the Belgian gay and lesbian movement from its beginning in the 1950s to the present day. The Belgian gay and lesbian movement had a difficult start, followed by periods of success alternating with periods of tension and conflict. The gay and lesbian movement eventually became one of the most successful social movements in Belgium.


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pp. 29-70
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