A DUTCH scheme to build a utopian gated neighbourhood exclusively for the gay community has sparked a backlash, with opponents warning that retreating to a "ghetto" will not help tackle homophobia and prejudice in society.
The project dubbed "Gay Village" by developers aims to give members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community a prejudice-free environment with luxuries including tennis courts and a cooking school.
But opponents warn that the plan amounts to the ghettoisation of people who should be able to feel safe without hiding behind locked gates. Peter van der Vorst, a Dutch radio presenter, tweeted that the village would be "a fenced gay ghetto" and said he hoped it was "a bad joke". Author Cornald Maas said the "obsolete ghetto formation" was "disgraceful".
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Developers propose turning a patch of forested land on the outskirts of Tilburg into a gated community created with input from potential residents. The average price of a home would be €250,000 (£200,000).
"We go further than just housing," the Gay Village website says. "Together with the future residents, we determine which services will provide for the community: its own supermarket, tennis court, a cooking school, a chapel or a gym, so you live in a quiet green area with all mod cons."
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