Public Servants Required to Perform Gay Marriages
THE HAGUE, 13/06/13 - Public servants are no longer allowed to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony between two people of the same sex. The Lower House has adopted a proposed bill by a large majority put forward by centre-left D66 MPs Pia Dijkstra and Gerard Schouw.
The Netherlands opened up marriage to homosexuals and lesbians in 2001. They must be able to marry in every municipality. There had since then been room for individual public servants with religious objections on binding two men and two women in wedlock. They could allow themselves to be replaced by somebody else.
The new bill will put a stop to this. Apart from the three Christian parties (CDA, ChristenUnie and SGP), all parties voted in favour of it. The bill still has to go through the Upper House.
COC Nederland reacted with satisfaction to the adopted bill. The homosexuals interests organisation does however regret that the bill only forbids the appointment of new ‘refusenik officials’. Already employed refusenik officials do not have to be dismissed.