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Leuven wants to democratise public participation in rainbow policy, Source: City of Leuven

Queer Leuven – a new platform aiming to democratise rainbow policy

Queer Leuven – a new platform aiming to democratise rainbow policy

The Belgian city of Leuven wants to empower the community by giving it an active role in shaping future LGBT+ policy

Today, the city of Leuven (Belgium) announced the launch of a new platform called Queer Leuven, as part of a local initiative to promote tolerance and acceptance of the LGBT+ community called Coming Out Day.

Coming Out Day itself will take place on 11 October and will include a discussion between prominent and diverse Leuven community leaders and the public. Queer Leuven will be the focal point of the event, as well as the backbone of the city’s future LGBT+ policy.

The platform aims to create a democratised forum, where everyone from the community can make propositions on policy and affect change in the city.

Democratisation is the only way to make an inclusive city

Local authorities want to use the event as a jumping-off point to attract a larger portion of the public. Although Leuven has a longstanding relationship with UniQue, a local rainbow house, they want to attract people and opinions outside of organisational membership, casting a wider net and helping individual voices to be heard.

Through the platform, Leuven’s citizens can review, consider and discuss local rainbow policy, strengthening a direct democracy approach. Alderman for Equality of Opportunities, Lies Corneille, explained that city officials cannot do their part in contributing to a more accepting society from behind a desk.

For her, the only effective way to better the community is through dialogue and public participation in the decision-making process. Furthermore, the new platform should help Leuven identify what the community needs, what the city can do to help and where local authorities should take a leading role.

Alderman Corneillie was quoted in a press release, saying: “Leuven is an inclusive city where you can be yourself, make your own choices and love who you want because love is love. We think that is very important and we will continue to monitor it."

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