This year, EuroPride is organised in Amsterdam, from July 23 to August 7. Reason for the Protestant Church Amsterdam and the organisers of the annual Gay Pride Service and Pink Christmas Service to welcome the visitors to the city on behalf of the churches.
The kick-off of the flag campaign was early April, with the launch of a crowd funding campaign in Kerkgebouw De Ark in Amsterdam-West. The Rainbow Congeration, which received the first rainbow flag, is housed here.
Rev. Miekie Myburgh of the Rainbow Congregation: “It is a great honour that we are chosen to receive the first flag. We truly hope that all churches and other places of worship will fly the rainbow flag during EuroPride to show that the religious residents of Amsterdam are also welcoming the participants and wish them a good time in our city.”
Crowd Funding for Three Large Rainbow Flags
The crowd funding, which has started early April, is meant for three rainbow flag of an extra-large size. This crowd funding is supported by the platform Geloofinjeproject.nl. One of the rainbow flags will be used during the religious opening service of EuroPride in the Vondelpark on Saturday, July 23, 2016.
Initiator Wielie Elhorst, who is homosexual and clergyman: “We will use the flag during the service, and later that day for the Pride Walk to Dam Square. We hope it will hearten all participants to EuroPride from abroad, often living in countries where one can hardly be openly gay, not in the least because churches and other religious authorities actively work against open homosexuality.”
One of the three large rainbow flags will be presented to a representative of WorldPride, which will be held in Madrid in 2017, to organise another rainbow service there as well.
All donations for the crowd funding campaign are welcome via Geloofinjeproject.nl. What's in it for contributors? A wide selection of offers - from Pride Beer, a living room concert of Dolly Bellefleur, and a rainbow flag in different sizes, to a benefit concert with Duo Wilde Orchidee (Irene Hemelaar and Paul Tijink), Angelique van Hest and gay men's choir Manoeuvre on Friday June 3, 2016 at the Keizersgrachtkerk in Amsterdam. Updates on the campaign can be found on the Facebook page ‘EuroPride Vlaggenactie’.
The crowd funding campaign has broad support, including the churches and in the LGBT* community. Those who recommend the campaign are Tanja Ineke, chairwoman of COC Netherlands, LNBi chairman Erwin Heyl, Rev. Karin van den Broeke (chairwoman of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands), Mgr. Joris Vercammen (Archbishop of the Old-Catholic Church in the Netherlands), and Rev. Jolanda Molenaar (discussion group religious transgenders).
The crowd funding campaign is part of Religious Pride, with an open air service on Saturday, July 23 at 11:00 in Vondelpark, and the World Religion Boat in the Canal Parade on Saturday, August 6. Religious Pride wants to show that religions can do what they are meant to do - connect people in the name of the Lord.