The idea of having the student societies raise the rainbow flag at their club houses was suggested by the Rotterdam Chamber of Societies (RKvV), an umbrella organisation for the city’s student societies. “We think the Rotterdam Pride event is a great occasion to demonstrate our solidarity with the LGBT community. Flying the rainbow flag is a nice way to show that solidarity,” RKvV President Wies Keijzer explained. “This is also our way to show that the various Rotterdam student societies embrace the LGBT community. We feel that we must treat each other in a caring way, irrespective of our sexual identities and preferences.”
No flag at NSR
“We not only associate the rainbow flag with ‘treating each other in a caring way’, but also with ‘liberal sexual morals’, and that is not what our society is about,” explained NSR President Gido Noordhuis. But even though his society is refusing to raise the rainbow flag, Noordhuis is keen to emphasise that the Christian student society is far from homophobic.
“Everyone is welcome at NSR to try and find out what living with Jesus means, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Noordhuis went on to say. In other words, NSR’s refusal to fly the rainbow flag does not reflect its view on the LGTB community. “We believe that personal stories are best told in personal conversations. They do not require a major stage.”
RKvV President Keijzer is not bothered by NSR’s refusal to fly the rainbow flag. “They have the right not to fly the flag if it goes against their beliefs to do so. They are free to deal with the matter in their own way.”