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Netherlands Planning To Build 'Gay Village': Report (UPDATE)

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GAY VILLAGE
A participant waves a rainbow flag during the annual Canal Parade at Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, Saturday Aug. 3, 2013. | ASSOCIATED PRESS

UPDATE -- June 19: The proposed "gay village" in Tilburg, Netherlands, was an elaborate hoax orchestrated by a Dutch gay rights group to raise awareness about the violence that the LGBT community faces in the country, per new reports.

According to NLTimes.nl, the Roze Maandag foundation -- the organizers behind Pink Monday, a pride event held in Tilburg every summer -- was behind the hoax. "All we wanted was to create awareness, and we are certain that we succeeded in this,” the organization is quoted as saying.

The earlier report continues here:

A real estate developer in the Netherlands reportedly wants to build a village specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Citing a report in local paper Brabants Dagblad, English-language news site DutchNews.nl writes that there are currently plans in the city of Tilburg to build a gays-only neighborhood, which is being touted as a safe space for LGBT individuals to live. Dutch real estate developer Blauwhoed is said to be behind the idea.

According to Dutch news site NLTimes.nl, there has recently been "a rise in violence and oppression" against members of the LGBT community in the Netherlands.

Last year, the country's Central Bureau for Statistics released a report stating that 30 percent of lesbians and 22 percent of gay men felt "unsafe in their own neighborhood" in 2012. The same report said that homosexuals were "more often victims of crime" than bisexual and heterosexual individuals.

The mayor of Tilburg, Peter Noordanus, has welcomed the idea of a gays-only village, according to DutchNews.nl. However, not everyone is quite so enthusiastic.

"We don’t think a gay village is the right solution to unsafe living surroundings for Dutch LGBTs," local gay advocacy group COC has been quoted as saying, per Gay Star News. "LGBTs should be able to live safely in the entire country."

Around the Web

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Tilburg to build "Gay Village" - NL Times