Liberty, equality and fraternity. The Dutch constitution was greatly influenced by France; our first constitution in 1798, was written after the French example: thirteen years before Napoleon rode into Amsterdam on his horse.

In 1811, the year of the entry of Napoleon, homosexual behaviour became decriminalized in The Netherlands after eighty years of violent persecution. From literally being a deadly sin, homosexual contacts in the private domain became completely free as a sin was not a crime.

However, exactly a century later – in 1911 – a new criminal law was enacted as part of the Morality Act. With that, a difference was made between the age of consent of homosexuals in comparison to heterosexuals. Heterosexuals were allowed to have sexual contact from sixteen years of age, while homosexuals were liable to punishment if they had sexual contact under the age of twenty-one.

One of the memorable victories of the Dutch homosexual movement was the abolishment, in 1971, of the above mentioned law.