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Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

When Wouter Van Bellingen became the first black registrar in Belgium, he knew there would be negative reactions, but he admitted that he didn’t expect them to be “so direct, so soon.” In February, three couples refused to pledge their wedding vows in front of the first black alderman of the city of Sint-Niklaas, because of the colour of his skin. After the racist incident, Van Bellingen told himself: “If people don’t want to marry, then that’s not my problem, it’s the problem of those people.”

But then someone gave him the idea to react with a positive signal against racial discrimination. Together with local NGOs and the Center for Equal Opportunities and against Racial Discrimination, he decided to organise a multicultural group marriage happening to, as mayor of Sint-Niklaas Freddy Willockx describes it, “forge this stupid racist behaviour into an unparallelled positive signal against racism and for tolerance.”

Contents

  • 1 A positive signal against racism
  • 2 It started small
  • 3 The couples
  • 4 Multicultural activities during the event
  • 5 The 5 challenges
  • 6 The event in pictures
  • 7 Related news

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Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium
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