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    Queen Máxima of the Netherlands Visits the Castro

    One of the most vocal international supporters of LGBTQ rights, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, visited the Castro in San Francisco on September 6, 2022.

    After her morning flight arrival, she was welcomed at City Hall by Mayor London Breed and observed a ceremonial flag raising. Onlookers cheered her on at the City Hall front steps.

    Shortly after 9 am, she was escorted to the Castro by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and other local LGBTQ community leaders. She visited the GLBT Historical Society Museum and stopped by the Castro Theatre to, in her words, “learn more about the history of the LGBTI+ community in San Francisco and exchange experiences on supporting LGBTI+ rights on a local and international level.” Those in attendance included Dr. Tyler TerMeer, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; Donna Sachet of the Imperial Court and the San Francisco Bay Times; Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director of the SF LGBT Center; Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and numerous others.

    Queen Máxima then stopped at Jane Warner Plaza to greet the members of the public who followed her tour through the Castro. (She desired that the streets and visit sites remain open to allow for such interaction.) Despite the sweltering temperature during the Western region’s long heat wave, she looked cool and relaxed in an elegant bright pink dress and heels. At times she laughed and applauded in response to some of the community interactions.

    She was then escorted to Twin Peaks Tavern, where she sat in a front window, with Mayor Breed to her right, and gave brief remarks. A circle of other leaders sat at adjacent tables, while attendees stood behind them and members of the press and the public peered in through the Tavern’s large windows. Those accompanying the Queen included Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Shreinemacher and members of the Dutch monarchy’s House of Orange-Nassau. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was also scheduled to visit San Francisco, but he was ordered by doctors not to travel due to a recent bout of pneumonia from which he is recovering.

    Queen Máxima and the other officials are visiting California and Texas to support the already strong economic ties forged between the Netherlands and the two states. In terms of LGBTQ rights, the Netherlands has been a global leader. For example, in 2001, it was the first county in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The U.S. did not do so until 2015.

    For more information about Queen Máxima: https://tinyurl.com/9shm7pwf

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    Published on September 8, 2022